January 25, 2024

Mainstream takes over $1.3bn Zungeru Power Plant

Mainstream takes over $1.3bn Zungeru Power Plant

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

Mainstream Energy Solution yesterday took over the $1.3 billion Zungeru Hydro Power Plant, after winning the bid for the plant in a competitive bidding process.

The Executive Director, of Corporate Services of Mainstream, Mr. Usman Umar, while conducting journalists around the plant yesterday, said the deal was in fulfilment of his company’s goal of maintaining its leadership position in the nation’s electricity generation.
The power plant built to generate 700 MW is located in the ancient town of Zungeru, Niger State.

Speaking on the impact of the concession, Umar said it would meet Mainstream’s growth objectives in clean energy generation.

He said: “Two or three years ago, the company decided to pursue a growth programme. We wanted to grow. Growth can be through acquisition or organically. We have the feeling of satisfaction that you derive from setting an objective and achieving it.”
The ED said his company is committed to operating the brand new Zungeru plant built with a Chinese loan in the most efficient manner in the interest of the Nigerian economy.

The concession of Zungeru Power Plant, the newest hydropower plant in the country, was won by Penstock Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mainstream Energy Solution Limited.

It has four units and is fed by a large dam with a reservoir capacity of 10 billion cubic metres.

With the addition of Zungeru, said that hydro-power has become the major source of electricity in the country and with the global move towards renewable energy, more hydropower plants should be encouraged.

On the challenge of electricity transmission, Mr Umar said that Mainstream will continue to support the Federal Government in its programmes towards strengthening the national grid.

‘Need for improved transmission capacity’

According to him, if the power generators ramp up electricity generation without the improved capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria to wheel such power, the generation companies’ businesses will suffer.

He expressed optimism that the deal with Siemens and the new pact arrangement with the Chinese will result in a significant increase in transmission capacity in the interests of stakeholders in the industry and consumers, in patticular.
The Chief Technical Officer of Mainstream, Mr. Jose Villegas, revealed that with latest addition, the company would be generating about 1, 202 MW into the National Grid.

He added that two more units will be added to the current eight units in Kainji, bringing the total number to 10 in that plant.

FG’s revenue trapped in commercial banks — RMAFC chair

THE Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, said yesterday that a substantial amount of the Federal Government’s revenue remains trapped in the vaults of commercial banks unremitted.

It also expressed concern about the non-remittance of monies to the government coffers by revenue-generating agencies, to the extent that a large chunk of money had been trapped in the banks.

RMAFC chairman, Mohammed Shehu, raised the alarm while receiving the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Bashir Adeniyi, in his office in Abuja.

The RMAFC is a federal government agency responsible for mobilising and allocating revenue to the three tiers of government in the country.

The commission also monitors the financial activities of the federal, state and local governments to ensure their compliance with the law.

Shehu said the abuse of procedure that results in loss of revenue, including evasion of payment of levies, duties and other related revenue, has created room for a lot of funds to be trapped with the stakeholders, especially commercial banks.

He added that the commission is ready to take up the responsibility to fulfil its mandates in line with subsisting presidential directives to block revenue leakages, irrespective of its source.

The RMAFC boss said: “As you are aware, the major issue of concern to RMAFC is the non-remittance of monies to the government coffers, which has created room for a lot of funds trapped with the stakeholders, especially the commercial banks.

“We, therefore, seek to leverage your timely visit to enlist your support for the commission to recover these funds and deliberately improve revenue mobilisation, block revenue leakages and advise the present administration on appropriate measures to increase revenue generation for the Federation Account.”

He sought the CG’s support to recover the funds, deliberately improve revenue mobilisation and block revenue leakages.
In his remarks, the Customs boss thanked the commission for drawing its attention to possible leakages, stressing that the agency is ready to its surpass revenue target of N3.2tn last year.

“The Nigeria Customs Service is empowered by Section 4 of the NCS ACT 2023 to collect and account for revenue from import duties, excise duties, and other taxes and levies. The service receives an annual revenue target from the Federal Government. For the year 2023, the NCS was given a target of N3.7tn and generated N3.21tn, which represents 87 per cent of the total revenue target.

“The Customs pledges its unalloyed support and understanding for what the commission is set to do and that is promoting and enhancing the environment under which we generate our revenue and ensuring that there will be proper accountability through remittances of revenue collected and most importantly block whatever revenue drains that we may have in our system. We know those areas where there could be leakages and we are asking the right question to resolve them.”