By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, today approved $5.792 billion (about N1.140trillion) for the construction of the Mambilla Hydro-Power project at Gembu in Taraba.
It will generate 3,050 megawatts.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this while addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council’s meeting.
“The memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing was to the award of the Mambilla Hydro-Power plant. I believe that many of you have heard of this project.
“Nigeria started talking about it since 1972; that is about 45 years ago.
“Several efforts had been made to bring it to reality but I’m happy to announce that this government approved the contract today to joint ventures of Chinese Civil and Engineering company for the engineering and turn-key contract, including civil and electro-mechanical works for 5.792 billion dollars.
“The construction should take about 72 months (6 years),’’ he said.
According to him, the scope of works of the project will include the construction of four dams and 700 kilometres of transmission lines.
The minister said the project, when completed, would boost the nation’s economy as it would unleash the potential that had been reported about Mambilla in the fields of agriculture, tourism and energy.
“It will also help Nigeria strike a very big blow on the climate change issue and fulfill its commitment under the Paris Agreement, because this is going to be renewable energy, coming also at a relatively competitive cost.
Fashola said the project would be jointly financed by the Federal Government and the China Export Import (EXIM) Bank.
EXIM bank will provide 85 per cent of the cost while the Federal Government would provide 15 percent.