President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to audit the engineering value of the proposed 3050 megawatts (MW) Mambilla hydropower project in Taraba state within three months.
The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman stated this on Thursday when he received the management team of the contracted Chinese firm, China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company and its Vice President, Mr Yuan Baoy.
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In a statement by Aaron Artimas, the minister’s spokesman, Engr. Mamman told the team that the project is also hindered by the legal disputes between the former contractor ‘Sunrise’ of which the government was finalising settlement terms, so that the project can continue.
He also said Buhari ordered the NSIA to review the work progress and execute a value engineering of the project and submit the report in three months.
The Minister has said the project has been redesigned from three dams to two dams but will not change the annual energy yield of the project when completed. He said the plant factor will be increased from 20 percent to around 40% to cut the energy generation cost by half.
“By conducting a project review, we have had a significant deduction of over N1 billion from the overall project sum, saving Nigerian taxpayers a lot of money,”
The Project Delivery Committee (PDC) Chair, Engr. Faruk Yabo, said the Ministry of Power has already committed N200 million to train junior and mid-level artisans like drivers, cooks and plumbers to support the engineering works.
“Three important issues which may threaten the smooth execution of the project have been prioritised for special attention, these include: financial viability and sustainability; the land acquisition and the arbitration, to free the project from any encumbrances”.
Yabo also said the Attorney General of the Federation had reached an understanding with Sunrise but payment was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
VP of CGGEC, Mr Baoyi said his company was ready to mobilise, once all issues regarding financing, land acquisition and arbitration were settled.