Mbae Ariel Mutegi

The Nigerian minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has confirmed that the 3,050MW Mambilla hydropower plant in Taraba State will resume soon.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Trust, Fashola revealed he has received a ‘No Objection’ certificate from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), which signifies that the ministry is ready to go forward and seek the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) approval for the contract to be awarded.

Fashola said: “It is good you mentioned Mambilla. The ‘No Objection’ for Mambilla just came into my office today [Monday]. It is still on my desk. These are all of the bureaucratic processes of getting things done in government.”

He added: “This is what it takes. For the cost, I won’t tell you until FEC approves it. The Permanent Secretary is working on the memo and I am hoping that I can sign it tonight [Tuesday].”

Progress on Mambilla hydropower plant

In June 2016, the ministry said government agreed to use two Chinese firms, Gezhouba Construction Group Corporation (CGGC) and Sinohydro Corporation for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract of the project, media reported.

According to the Daily Trust, the China Export Import Bank has already approved 85% of the funding for this project and would be disbursed once the federal government provides its counterpart funding.

However, government is said to be eyeing the 15% counterpart funding from proceeds of the sale of the ten national integrated power plants.

Budget cuts

Fashola also lamented the cut in the Power, Works and Housing Ministry’s 2017 budget proposal by the National Assembly.

He listed several major projects including the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Lokoja, Kano-Maiduguri and other uncompleted highway projects for which the National Assembly cut the ministry’s requests by N10 billion ($31 million) to N21 billion ($66 million) each.

He said with those cuts, the projects are bound to suffer more delays and cannot be completed soon.

 

Homepage image credit: Cassia Lodge