Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Wednesday said the Federal Government had no regret in concessioning the Shiroro Hydro Power Plant to North South Power Company.
Sambo stated this when he received a delegation from the management of the North South Company, led by its Chairman, Malam Ibrahim Aliyu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the concessioning of the plant to the company was not a mistake, in view of the new ideas the company was injecting to enable the power plant generate to its optimal capacity.
The vice-president also appreciated the management of the company for the steps taken to appoint consultants that would advise it on the technical aspects of proper running of the plant.
He commended the company’s determination to venture into the provision of solar power, saying ‘‘this is a welcomed development’’.
Sambo assured that government would continue to encourage investors in power sector through various channels.
He, therefore, expressed the readiness of government to link them up with international financing agencies such as the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the China EXIM Bank, where they could source for cheap financing at single digit interest rates.
He commended the management of the company for the “excellent management’’ of the Shiroro Power plant.
Earlier, the chairman of the company, Ibrahim Aliyu, said the team was at the State House to brief the Vice President, being the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation (NPC), on their activities, since they took over the Shiroro Hydro-Power Plant in Niger State.
He said that in spite of challenges, the company had made considerable investments to ensure that the power plant operated optimally.
According to him, two of the four turbines of the plant are currently fully overhauled, while the third will soon be functional.
He expressed the hope that when all the turbines become fully functional, the power plant would work seamlessly for the next 10 years.
Aliyu said that the need to improve on the capacity and functionality of the turbines would be the next stage of the company’s investment stock.
He added that “the first stage of these investments will be in the general improvement of the facility, which will involve the installation of instrument transformers, civil engineering works, intake structure repair, as well as pen stock repairs.’’
Other aspects of the investment, he said, would also include the repair of spill way, provision of auxiliary spill way, protection controlled system/scatter, potable water system and other general improvements.
The chairman further disclosed that the company was working assiduously to improve the flow of water to the dam.
He said the company was also making efforts to install 200 megawatts of solar plant farm to upgrade the plant’s capacity from 600mw to 1,000mw in the next five years. (NAN)