Hopes that the long delayed construction of the 3,050MW Mambilla hydropower project in Taraba State will resume soon were raised yesterday when a ‘No Objection’ certificate from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) landed on the desk of Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola.
The minister, who granted an exclusive interview to Daily Trust yesterday, said with the no objection certificate’s arrival, the ministry was 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.” Displaying the document he said, “This is the ‘No Objection’ for Mambilla. Now we can go to FEC, get approval and award the contract. 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 [yesterday].”
It will be recalled that in June last year, the Power Ministry said government agreed to use two Chinese firms, Gezhouba Construction Group Corporation (CGGC) and Sinohydro Corporation for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction [EPC] contract of the project, said to be the largest yet in West Africa. A director in the ministry said the project cost was reviewed as “The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has valued the project at $5.732billion (about N1.140trn).” He said the project’s contract is for a period of 63 months after it is flagged off, including 12 months for a Defect Liability Period (test running) before it is handed over.
On funding for the mega project, Daily Trust gathered that 85 per cent of the funding is ready with the China Export Import (EXIM) Bank and would be disbursed once the Federal Government provides its counterpart funding. However, government is said to be eyeing the 15 percent counterpart funding from proceeds of the sale of the ten National Integrated Power Plants (NIPPs).
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 slashed the ministry’s requests by ten to 21 billion naira each. He said with those cuts, the projects are bound to suffer more delays and cannot be completed soon.
The minister confirmed that plans are afoot to rebuild toll gates on federal highways. He listed many economic and security benefits of the toll gates apart from revenue generation. Fashola however said no toll gates will be erected on any federal highway until its construction is completed.
Source Daily Trust…..