Wednesday, 2 January 2019

FG Release N2tn Funding For Mabilla Power Plant Despite Dispute

The Federal Government has said the funding for early works of resettlement and surveys is ongoing for the $5.72 billion (about N2 trillion) Mambilla hydropower project in Taraba State expected to generate 3050 megawatts (MW).

There have been legal crisis by acclaimed local partner, Sunrise Power and Transmission Company, that could derail the kickoff of the project in 2019, Daily Trust reports.

However, the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Saturday night in a televised response to the crisis said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration does not want middlemen or ’10 percenters’ for the project, describing Sunrise’ claims as baseless.

Giving a ray of hope, he said: “We had provision for our counterpart funding in the 2018 budget and we have also done so in the 2019 budget. Our contribution to even start the early works, planning the surveys, resettlement is going on.

“The president has approved that part of that money should come from the Infrastructure Development Fund funded by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA),” the minister stated.

The 3050MW Mambilla hydropower project was originally 2600MW when it was conceived and had been on the drawing board for about 40 years. It had seen controversies since 2003 and was at the point of being flagged off in 2014 before it fell for another legal hurdle.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on August 30, 2017 approved the award of the contract to Messrs China Gezhouba Corporation (CGC), Sinohydro Corporation Limited and CGOC Group Limited. Fashola then signed the $5.72bn contract with the firms in November 2017.

It is expected to be completed in about 60 months if it begins in 2019 as been projected.

Fashola said 116 local firms have expressed interest to provide finance consultancy, logistics and security services within the six year construction period.

Mr Fashola in November 2018 said the Federal Ministry of Finance was concluding negotiation for the financing with the Chinese Export Import (EXIM) Bank for an 85 per cent level and a 15 per cent counterpart funding from Nigeria.

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