Niger state Governor Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has lamented the loss of N13 billion accruing ground rent ought to have been paid to the state by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) for hosting its three Hydro Electric dams.
Aliyu also said that the proximity of the state to Abuja has not sufficiently translated into gain for the people as it had made Suleja vulnerable to bombers.
Governor Aliyu said these in Minna, yesterday, and disclosed that the state government had requested the Federal Government to pay it accumulated ground rent of the said amount for the land the dams at Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji have been occupying in the last 20 years.
Aliyu told members of the House that the Attorney General of the Federation had written the state government stating the position of the federal government.
According to him, in the letter the federal government insisted that the three dams were constructed in the interest of all Nigerians and that no single state could make request for the ground rent as demanded by the Niger state government.
The Governor, therefore, told members of the House of Assembly that government has accepted the position of the Federal Government and dispelled rumours that the state had been receiving ground rent from the PHCN.
He, however, said that under the concession arrangement of the dams in the country by the Federal Government, the Niger state government has decided to protect the interest of the state and its people.
The governor said that the state had kept 10 percent stake in the Shiroro dam and would request for substantial stake at the Kainji and Jebba dams.
He added that the administration was working out the modalities for the sale of the shares to the general public.
Aliyu also said that the state had sacrificed major parts of its land in favour of the Federal Capital Territory and and lamented that it had beena source of loss to the state rather than gain it ought to have been.
The governor disclosed that a committee to ensure the development of the neighbouring states of Nasarawa , Niger and Kogi Governors headed by the Vice President has been put in place to fashion out the modalities.
He said that from the government’s feasibility survey, N84 billion would be needed to bring the Suleja up to standard.