From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger state government has said that it was yet to disburse the N1.4 billion out of N2bn released by the federal government to compensate communities hosting the Zungeru Hydro Electricity dam because it has apply for upward review of the fund to meet prevailing economic reality.
The state Commissioner of Works and Infrastructural Development, Ibrahim Balarebe gave this explanation yesterday in press briefing after the state executive council meeting saying that the assessment was done in 2013 that is not attainable now hence the demand letter review.
He said that the property of the affected people were valued about five years ago based on which the fund was computed, adding that this has resulted in pattering sums as compensation.
Balarabe who is the Chairman of the state ministerial committee on compensation and resettlement of the affected persons, said the money was deposited in government account in one of the new generation banks
This explanation followed a recent call by the Senator representing the Niger East Senatorial District, David Umaru for government to commence payment of compensation immediately with the funds.
According to the Senator, federal government released the money several months ago.
He further said that the Senator was correct on the release of the money, adding that we have delayed the exercise because we applied to the federal government for review of the compensation
He said that government has also entered a swap agreement the Aso Saving for a 10 AVA power substation to be installed in Zugeru offer for N150 million to boost electricity supply in the area noted that only compensation for economic trees been carried out remaining structures.
He stated that the total liability currently stood at N288 million with N55 million approval by the council for the building of the sub section and accessories with 10% (N15 million) for the consultant haven received from Aso Savings a sum of N378,863,883.77.