China Gezhouba Group Co. Ltd., a prominent Chinese construction and engineering company, has decided to pause the construction of Niger Republic’s Kandadji Dam project in light of economic sanctions imposed on the nation. These sanctions were levied by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, and the World Bank due to the ongoing political turmoil in the country.
In a circular dated August 7, 2023, titled ‘Notification Regarding Suspension of the Kandadji Dam Project and Workforce Dismissal,’ the group communicated its decision.
As reported by Zagazola Makama, a security analyst and expert in counterinsurgency within the Lake Chad region, the Chinese Gezhouba Group cited its inability to settle the expenses incurred during the dam’s construction as the primary reason for suspending the project.
The company also announced its intention to terminate ongoing contractual agreements with local workers in an organized manner.
The official statement reads: “The recent political upheaval on July 26, 2023, in Niger has created a rapidly deteriorating security environment. The financial sanctions imposed on the country by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the European Union, and the World Bank have rendered it unfeasible for our company to meet its financial obligations.”
“Faced with this situation of force majeure, we are compelled to cease all construction activities temporarily and gradually initiate the termination of contracts with our local workforce. It is important to note that the termination due to force majeure does not entail severance compensation for affected employees.”
“Nevertheless, we are committed to settling the wages owed to them and safeguarding their rightful entitlements. Additionally, we pledge to prioritize rehiring our displaced workers once the construction of the Kandadji Dam recommences. In navigating the contract termination process, your cooperation and support will be invaluable.”