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The Federal Government has budgeted N4.19 billion to pay consultants in the 2018 proposed budget for studies, the construction of 700 megawatts (mw) Zungeru hydropower project in Niger State, and the 3050mw Mambilla project in Taraba State.  

An analysis of the budget proposal obtained from the Budget Office of the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, showed that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing will get N590bn out of which the ministry itself will have N445.98bn. From this, the ministry, headed Mr Babatunde Fashola and two other ministers, will use N434.9bn for capital projects. 
Our analysis also shows that N408 million will be used to pay for consulting and professional services that include N20.5m for financial consulting; consulting for Information Technology (IT) for N16.8m, and legal services for N15.6m. Another N355m will go for what the ministry describes as ‘consultancy, survey and short term studies’.
From the N434bn the ministry is getting for capital projects in 2018, the sum of N9.82bn has been pegged for the Mambilla project. From this, consultancy services will take N1.3bn. The breakdown shows that N610m will be for consultancy works for the valuation and compensation of affected communities.
A N200m allocation was pegged for the Federal Government and Taraba State project implementation team while N512m will go for engineering design, management and supervision of the project. 
Government will also spend N8.5bn as part of the 15 per cent counterpart funding for the project.
For the Zungeru project which was flagged off in 2013, the ministry will spend N7.534bn. Out of this figure, N2.48bn will go for consultancy services, which include N1.75bn for its supervision. 
The joint project implementation team will get N300m; consultancy services to compensate affected persons at the downstream will gulp N215m, and surveying the resettlement site for affected communities will take N214m.
Other activities in the Zungeru project area include buildings for the affected communities at N700m; creating alternative access road to the dam site at N593m; constructing 31 kilometre access roads to the resettlement sites at N1.1bn; compensation of 98 affected communities for their crops at N500m; and building of fence for the project site at N500m.
Its 13 agencies and parastatals will get N145.1bn from which the seven agencies in the power section will get N87.5bn. 
In the power sector, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) will get N31bn, being the highest for the ministry’s agencies and parastatals. Six other power agencies will share N56.5bn allocation from which over 80 per cent will go for capital expenditure.(Daily Trust)

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