Winner Power Gardens Limited, an indigenous firm, has been issued a water use permit by the federal government to generate electricity from the Okuru River in Kogi State.
Musa Istifanus, permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, represented by Joe Kwanashie, director of irrigation and drainage, said since the privatisation of the power sector, the government had issued various permits to private entrepreneurs.
“I am delighted to present the water use permit to another water resources developer for the purpose of producing hydro electric power. The Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission, issued licences to three concessionaires of three hydro electric dams, which are Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro, all in the Niger Central catchment area. In the same vein, we are gathered to add another developer to the earlier ones, which is Winner Garden Power Limited,” he said.
Istifanus expressed the hope that the firm would qualify for the presentation of the substantive licence within the duration of the permit.
Rueben Habu, coordinating director, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission, said to effectively regulate water resources development in Nigeria, the agency came up with a water use regulation stipulating different fees for the processing of applications for licences and water uses.
He stated that the permit given to the power firm would enable the company to generate about 30 megawatts of electricity by building a dam on the Okura River in Dekina Local Government area of Kogi State to impound water.
“The permit grants the company access to the proposed project site as well as to finalise the project designs after which a substantive water use licence will be granted on completion of due process.
The permit is also a prerequisite for other necessary approvals for the generation and sale of electric power,” Habu said.
He noted that the permit would further boost the efforts of the Federal Government in power generation across the country and promote integrated water resources development and management for the well being of all Nigerians.
Habu said the commission was ready to work with genuine private investors in water resource development and noted that each approved permit had its terms and conditions, with specified period of validity.
Jacobs Abdullahi, chairman, Winner Power Gardens, stated that the permit granted his firm was the first embedded hydropower generation permit in the country and the venture had attracted more than 100 different companies to the 21,000 hectares of land acquired for the project.
“The project and other investments have the capacity to provide more than 10,000 jobs apart from the indirect jobs provided by the companies to be located around the plant,” he said.

Maureen Nzeogu
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