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The Nigerian state of Kano has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Skipper Group of India for the construction of hydroelectricity plants at Tiga and Challawa dams in the state, Indian High Commissioner in Abuja, Mahesh Sachdev has said.
The total value of the project was not disclosed. Sachdev said: "When completed, in two years, these two projects would not only contribute 35 MW of power to Kano state, they would also play the intended role in water management and irrigation."
Once complete, the two dams would become the largest-capacity hydropower project in northern Nigeria, he said. "We would soon see substantive movement in other sectors, such as urban light railway, solid waste management, education and healthcare," the high commissioner said.
Sachdev added that India's ties with Kano dated to at least the 17th century, when Baba Gaur of Kano settled in Rattanpur in western India, where he is still revered and venerated. "Kano is the Nigerian state physically as well as emotionally the closest to India," he said
He recalled Kano state governor Rabiu Kwankwaso's "consistent and constructive engagement" with India which included a visit there in February 2013. "This visit led to the identification of specific Indian partners in such priority sectors as power, urban renewal, vocational training, education, film, healthcare, textiles and garments," he added.
The project is dear to Governor Kwandwaso because, as a young engineer, he started his career at the Tiga dam and ended at Challawa, before entering politics. Sachdev said the project has been assigned to the Skipper Group to take the governor's two noble initiatives to their respective logical conclusions.
"We wish to assure you that it will be our privilege to connect the young builder's dream with a senior statesman's vision. As Your Excellency is aware, I do hope that by engaging in this productive work in his first home, we would be able to pay back some of historic debt we Indians owe to Kano and her illustrious son."
Skipper Group operates in other African countries including South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Ghana, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Burkina Faso.