– Chinese engineers visited the site of the Mambilla hydro=power project station
– They are expected to begin work after they submitted work plan to the federal government
– This is expected to boost electricity supply in the country
It seems Nigeria is already set to benefit from President Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to China as the 3050 WM Mambilla hydro-power project is set to start. Daily trust reports that 40 Chinese engineers visited the site located at Gembu in Taraba State accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry Power, Works.
The team of expert inspected areas mapped out for the project from River Dongo in Gembu, headquarters of Sardauna local government area.
According to the design, the project will also boost irrigation farming in the state which has been applauded by farmers in the region. Alhaji Suleiman Zubairu who is a community leader applauded President Buhari for taking the project serious. It was reported that the Chinese contractors had presented the scope of work to the federal government and that the setback in the project caused by disagreement between two Chinese companies had been resolved.
A power sector expert explained that the project should have started since 2011 but the inclusion of Sinohydro Corporation, a Chinese firm that was not part of the original bid winners caused the setback.
“The Obasanjo government signed the contract with the Chinese firm in 2007 and if it was followed by now, we would have added 2600mw additional hydropower to the grid.”
The minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola had said compensation would be paid to owners of lands that will be used for the project.
“The first thing to do is to acquire the land and deal with compensation issues, which the Governor has promised to deal with. “The feasibility study has been done and so too the Environmental Impact Assessment. We move one day at a time closer to starting Mambilla,”
Silvanus Giwa who is the senior special assistant to the governor on media said the government was working on how to pay compensation.
“It is in view of this that the state government recently issued a warning to land owners at the place to stop selling land to speculators in order to avoid crisis in the payment of compensation.”
Babangida Nguroje who is a former deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives confirmed that all arrangements have been made to kick-start the project.
“I can confirm to you that the Chinese were at the project site yesterday and we have been reliably informed that they are making the necessary arrangements for the commencement of the project.” “We are psychologically prepared for the take- off of the project.”
Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro Generation companies (Gencos) are the only three hydro based electricity sources in the country out of 27. The other 24 have at one time or the other been attacked by militants in the Niger Delta region which has affected power generation.