Thirty years after conception, the federal government yesterday entered into a contract with Chinese firm, CNEEC-Sino Hydro Consortium for the construction of a 700 megawatts hydro electric power plant in Zungeru, Niger State.
The deal involves N163 billion.
Nigeria currently generates about 4, 200MW from the national grid.
The project which is to be completed in 48 months, is 75 percent financed by the Export Import Bank of China while the rest 25 percent is provided by the federal government.
The project started in 1982 but has received less than due attention until recently. It was originally conceived to be 950MW, but was reviewed downward in 2008 by Coyne et Bellier which provided the feasibility study and engineering design.
On November 6, this year, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the federal government and the Chinese firm for the implementation of the project.
The contract was formally signed yesterday.
Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, who signed on behalf of the federal government said the contract process underwent the due process with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) issuing the 'no objection' approval on October 2012.
She said: "The source of the funding is from an arrangement with Exim Bank of China for the 75 percent of the cost while counterpart funding balance in the sum of $309 million is currently available with the ministry."
She said upon completion, the project would generate revenue for the repayment of the loan.
According to the minister, the hydro power project would create over 1,000 direct employment opportunities which will enhance the economy just as the contract terms provide for the use of competent local sub contractors and direct labour in its execution.