The Sad Story of Farin Ruwa Hydro Electricity Power Project, A Wastage Of Taxpayers Money Or Misplaced Priority?
Rabiu Omaku, our Nasarawa state correspondent writes
The initiation of the multi-billion naira Farin Ruwa Hydro Electric Power Project (HEPP) by the first executive governor of Nasarawa state, Abdullahi Adamu was cherished with fanfare by indigents of the state, after many years of execution of the project, the only structure at the proposed site was a signpost and a block of building used as the security post whereas there is no access road leading to the dam.
The dam remain a shadow of itself in spite of the N6.1billion sunk into the unproductive project awarded at the early stage of governor Abdullahi Adamu’s first tenure, the wastage of hard-earned taxpayers money continued to generates mixed reaction from critical stakeholders, it was authoritatively revealed that chunk amount of state resource was wasted without any project to commensurate with the billions sunk in the project.
The State government has in the past expended a substantial part of its revenue on recurrent expenditure, thereby leaving a meager proportion of the state “resources for the development of infrastructure and capital projects.
This happened around 1999-2011.the development hinders the pace of poorly executed project derailing the much needed dividends of democracy to good people of the state.
Some of the Capital projects executed during the period under review were poorly executed as the contractors handling the various projects indulged in sub-standard project while vast projects were abandoned.is on record that the sum of N1, 471,625,617.00 was paid in 2008 in respect of Farin Ruwa Hydro Electric Power Project.
Twelve years after the kick start of the project equipment of the Hydro-Power Plant Project embarked upon in 2002 by the administration of Senator Abdullahi Adamu at Farin Ruwa in Wamba has been abandoned and the motive of the project was aimed at rescuing people of the state out of the erratic power supply by supplying 20 megawatt of power supply.
It was revealed that 90% of the contract was paid to the contractor (Yoo-Jin) at the start of the project by the then governor of the state, Abdullahi Adamu, the cacophony started following a breach of trust between the state government and the construction firm, this medium gathered that the company decided to abandon the project after they discovered that not the amount paid in their name was given to them. According to our source, the company claimed that they were only paid only 30% of the contract sum while the project was less than 25% completed before the project was abandoned.
The people of Nasarawa State continued to ponder over the whereabouts of their money, Available records revealed that after Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura when stepped in as the state governor he made frantic effort to revitalize the abandoned project but could not due to financial challenge and have again directed the state energy company to source for a private company that will partner with the state government to see to the realization of the wasting company.
The HEPP project was conceived on May, 2004 at the initial contract sum of N5.4 billion, with a completion period of 36 months. However, due to technical problems associated with the siting of the project and price fluctuations, the contract sum was later reviewed upward to N6.1 billion, The twenty mega Watts of electric power is what Nasarawa State intends to generate from Farin Ruwa Independent Hydro Electric Power Project but rather a tales by moonlight.
The hydroelectric power project is being constructed along Njiri River with origin from the base of the splashing Farin Ruwa Water Falls, across the south-east section of the state through Amba, Zali and down to the Benue River. Some of the preponderances of the project also include a prolonged legal tussle between the host communities alleging the invasion of Manger, upon commencement of work on the project without due process and compensation.
It was also expected that Chavy Chase will sink about $40 million for its completion, the completion of all civil works including switch yard for the generation of power within 18 months; design and construction of transmission lines in accordance with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) standard.
It was also expected that transmission line will to start from the project site in Farin Ruwa to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s sub-station at Akwanga. The contractor will also undertake Environmental Impact Assessment Studies of the project; construct a feeder road from Sisinbaki village to Manger; meet all regulatory requirements by other relevant regulatory bodies; and provide corporate responsibility charter for the community.
The company is also expected to complete work on the power house; construct a 65 kilometers transmission line for the evacuation of power generated from Farin Ruwa to the nearest distribution sub-station.