FG Reinstates Commitment to Mambilla Hydroelectric Project

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By Ikenna Omeje

The Federal Government has reinstated its commitment to resuscitate the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power, stressing that at no time did it relax in its efforts towards the delivery of the project.

The Minister of Power, Engr Sale Mamman, stated this on Thursday when he received the management team of  China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company — the Chinese Firm handling the project, led by its Vice President, Mr. Yuan Baoy.

Mamman, however, noted that the delivery of the project has been hampered by the ongoing legal  battle between the Federal Government and the former contractor of the project, Sunrise Group.

He explained that the Federal Government is in the process of finalizing settlement terms with the Sunrise Group, to amicably resolve the legal dispute, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), to review the progress that has been made so far and carry out value engineering of the project in pursuit of optimised implementation and delivery.

According to him, NSIA has been given 3 months to submit a comprehensive report detailing the findings of the value engineering and also provide recommendations to advance the project.

Sunrise Group had in 2017, dragged the Federal Government and its Chinese partners before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, France, over alleged breach of contract. The company claimed to have been awarded the build, operate and transfer (BOT) contract of the project in 2003.

“The office of the Attorney General of the Federation had reached an understanding with the Sunrise Group, and an amount had also been agreed, although the settlement may have been delayed by the challenges of the global pandemic,” he tweeted via his verified Twitter handle @EngrSMamman.

“Concurrently, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, to review the progress so far and carry out value engineering of the project in pursuit of optimised implementation and delivery. As is, the Government investment outfit has been given 3 months to submit a comprehensive report detailing the findings of the value engineering and also provide recommendations to move the project forward.

“As part of the process of acquisition of the land, the Ministry of Power had earlier signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taraba State Government, following which, land and aerial survey activities were successfully conducted.”

Mamman informed that sensitization and enlightenment activities have also been carried out with the full buy-in and participation of stakeholders and the host communities, adding that the Ministry of Power has committed N200 million to the training of junior and mid-level artisans.

He said: “…the Project Delivery Committee (PDC) Chair, Engr. Faruk Yabo, gave them some insights into the take-off of the Mambilla Hydropower project, briefing them on how the Ministry of Power has already committed 200 million Naira to the training of junior and mid-level artisans, ensuring the availability of manpower for the project. These include electricians, plumbers, Masons, drivers & cooks”.

The Mambilla Hydroelectric Power plant is a 3,050 MW hydroelectric power project, which when completed, will be the largest power-generating installation in the country, and one of the largest hydroelectric power plants in Africa. The project is estimated to cost the Federal Government $5.8 billion.

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