UPDATED: Mambilla Power Project back on track after 40 years
by INNOCENT OODOH, Abuja
November 10, 2017 | 6:00 pm| | | Start Conversation
After over 40 years, the Federal Government has mapped out ways to revamp the 3,050 Megawatts Mambilla Power Project in Gembu, Taraba state, which will cost $5.8 billion, which it said will improve the energy requirements of the country.
Indications to the development emerged on Friday when the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, signed the contract agreement with three Chinese firms under Joint-Venture partnership to revive the project that he credited to the visionary leadership of President Muhammad Buhari.
He added that the project will enhance Nigeria’s power diversity and boost its energy needs adding that the project will also unlock the potentials of the people of Taraba state in particular and Nigerians in general.
“I must thank President Buhari for the leadership that he has shown in reviving this project that has failed, that has stumbled and has now been brought back on track after over forty years. This is great leadership that signposts a new dawn for Nigeria’s power diversity and energy needs.
“This project will give us the opportunity for energy security, it will give us the opportunity for compliance with our Paris climate change agreement because it will be delivering renewable energy, it will provide opportunity to unlock the gift of nature to Nigeria in Taraba State such as agriculture energy, construction, development,” he said.
He said further that the project will take 6 years to be completed once work starts on it stressing that the project will be undertaken by inter-ministerial collaboration. He added that the Ministry of Finance will be leading the negotiation to finance the agreement and will be making subsequent budgeting proposal for counterpart funding. He also said the National Assembly will be approving the borrowing plan..
Fashola also said there are opportunities for local participation in this undertaking are enormous assuring Nigerians that they will have a very important role to play in the project.
The Chinese firms included China Gezhouba Group International Corporation (CGGC), Sinohydro Corporation Limited and CGCOC. The head of the CGGC Mambilla Hydroelectric project, He Yonjun, who was elated at the conclusion of the contract agreement, said that work will commence on the project as soon as the modalities are sorted out.
Also present during the ceremony was Minister of State II, Power Works and Housing; Suleiman, Zarna, Minister of State I, Power Works and Housing; Mustapha Baba Shehuri, Minister of Environment;Usman Jubrin, Minister of Water Resources; Sulieman Adamu among others.
The Mambilla Electricity project in Gembu, Taraba State first came to limelight in 1972 and since then several efforts have been made to bring it to fruition to no avail.
The project is said to be jointly financed by the federal government and the China Export Import, EXIM, Bank. EXIM bank will provide 85 per cent of the cost while the federal government would provide 15 per cent.
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