Senators Kick As $5.8bn Mambilla Power Project Stay Idle




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of the Senate Committee on Power expressed anger on Monday when the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, said the $5.8bn Mambilla Power had yet to take off.

 

The committee was also expressed surprise the submission of the of Transmission Company of Nigeria, Sule Abdulaziz, on the funding of the power sector.

Abdulaziz had said out of N165bn required for capital in 2020, only N4bn envelope had been released, while N3bn had been cash backed.

The revelations were made during the budget defence session which the minister and the TCN MD had with the Senate Committee on Power.

The Chairman of the Committee, Gabriel Suswam, and like Senators Shaibu Lau, Danjuma Goje, James Manager wondered why no was allocated for the in the 2021 budget.

Specifically, Lau who hails from State told the committee that despite promises made on the project by the Federal Government on yearly basis, there was no access road to the project site.

He said even the road to the project site had not been cleared.

He said, “Nothing in the proposed 2021 budget that concerns Mambilla, showing that there is no commitment from government.

“The truth about the project going by glaring realities on ground the last 10 years is that Mambilla will not see the light of the day,” he said.

The minister, in his , admitted that the project had yet to take off but added that he was still trying to convince the , Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on it.

He said a special of $200m targeted for the project was still in the office of the Chief of Staff while the N850m expected from Nigeria as 15 per cent of the contract sum had yet to be paid.

He said the 85 per cent balance of the contract sum was to be financed by the NEXIM Bank.

The project is a 3,050 hydroelectric power project. After completion, it will be the largest power generating installation in the country.

Suswan and members said solution must be found to the Mambilla issue as part of the solutions to epileptic power supply in the country.

Manager said going by the submission of the minister, there was no seriousness from the government on the project, which according to him, was getting frustrated.

The TCN MD in his submissions before the committee said the transmission capacity of the country had increased from 5,000megawatts to 8,000megawatts.

He said, “Inadequate funding by government on yearly basis remains the major problem of the TCN and by extension, the power sector.

“In 2020 fiscal year, our projected money for capital expenditure was N165bn but only given N4bn budgetary envelope out of which N3bn was cash backed,” he said.

Source