China Gezhouba Group Co. LTD, a Chinese construction and engineering firm, has suspended the construction of the Niger Republic Kandadji Dam project due to financial sanctions imposed on the French-speaking country by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, and the World Bank as a result of the ongoing political unrest in the country.
The group made this known in a circular dated August 7, 2023, titled ‘Notice on the shutdown of the Kandadji Dam Project and the dismissal of workers.’
According to the statement shared on Twitter by a security analyst and a counter-insurgency expert on Lake Chad, West African region, Zagazola Makama, Chinese Gezhouba Group decided to suspend the project because of the company’s inability to settle bills incurred from the construction of the dam.
The group added that they would also terminate all the subsisting contractual agreement they have with local workers for efficient dismissal.
The statement reads: “Due to the political turbulence that occurred on July 26, 2023 in Niger, the security situation is becoming increasingly worrying. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union and the World Bank have all imposed financial sanctions on the country, making it impossible for the Company to settle bills.
“Faced with this case of force majeure, we find ourselves forced to stop all construction activities for a week and to proceed with the gradual termination of the contracts of local workers. And it should be emphasised that the termination of the contract due to force majeure would not imply the compensation of the dismissed employees.
“However, we undertake to liquidate the wages due to them and to guarantee their legitimate rights. We also promise to give priority to our laid-off workers when recruiting once construction of the Kandadji Dam resumes. And regarding the termination of the contract we will need your assistance and support.”