In a significant development announced during the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Federal Government has officially handed over the operations of the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant to its concessionaire, Penstock Limited. This strategic move is anticipated to elevate Nigeria’s power generation capacity, addressing the surging energy demands of the nation.

During the meeting, Vice President Kashim Shettima shared plans for the recapitalization and restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) to fortify Nigeria’s agricultural sector and achieve national food security. While acknowledging the BOA’s potential in contributing to food security due to its extensive branch network across senatorial districts, he expressed concerns about its current practices, particularly regarding unsustainable loan disbursements.

Senator Shettima emphasized the need for modernization, urging the integration of technology and facility upgrades within the BOA. He proposed aligning the Green Imperative Project with the restructuring plans, envisioning the distribution of agricultural machinery, such as tractors and harvesters, to farmers. The VP stressed leveraging science and technology to minimize divergence and asserted Nigeria’s capability to achieve national food security with the right strategies.

The meeting highlighted ongoing efforts in the Zungeru Hydroelectric Power Plant concession, with the official transfer of operations to Penstock Limited on January 23, 2024. The Concession Agreement, signed on December 13, 2023, marked a crucial milestone, and the Concessionaire fulfilled its obligations by paying 50% of commencement fees on January 5, 2024.

Additionally, updates were provided on the sale of NITEL/MTEL property at Moloney Street, Lagos, with ongoing efforts to evict illegal occupants and resolve associated court cases. The audit of NIPOST properties nationwide faced challenges, with pushbacks from NIPOST and unions in the context of the ongoing Postal Sector Reform. The Federal Mortgage Bank Restructuring progress was noted, with the bank’s management submitting nominations to the Implementation Committee, set to commence work shortly. Further updates on these developments are expected in the near future.

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