Minna — Efforts by the Federal Government to improve on the epileptic power supply in the country will gulp additional $2 billion with the proposed construction of Gurara, Zungeru and Kontagora hydro dams whose work was abandoned over 25 years ago in Niger State.
President Goodluck Jonathan disclosed this in Minna on Saturday during the flag-off of the second-term campaign rally of Governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu.
The president, represented by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Labaran Maku, said his administration has also concluded the design of the 600 megawatts hydro power plant at Zungeru, while the contract award is underway.
The FG has concluded plans to also award the 300 megawatts Gurara Phase 2 hydro dam that will be used to generate electricity and irrigation for farmers in parts of the state.
The Zungeru hydro power plant, according to him, is estimated to cost $1.5 billion out of which the FG has earmarked $600 million for the two projects.
Appreciating Governor Aliyu and the people of Niger for their support to the FG, President Jonathan paid glowing tributes to the two former military rulers, Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, for their contributions to the development of not only Niger state but the country as a whole.
He expressed happiness that Niger is solidly a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state and urged the people to deliver their wards and local government areas.
The PDP presidential flag-bearer also outlined the FG's comprehensive agricultural policy for the state, explaining that the proposed Gurara dam will be used to enhance the agriculture sector of the state, especially the comparative advantages it has in the production of rice.
Jonathan, who is expected to pay state visit to Niger State on February 22, also announced plans by his administration to connect Minna with Abuja through a fast rail line as the dredging of River Niger has attained 90 per cent completion.