We’ve resolved legal hurdles hindering Mambilla project take-off –Senate


he Senate on Monday declared that all the financial and legal hurdles hindering the smooth take-off of the Mambilla Hydro Electric Power projects had been resolved.

The red chamber said the contractors are expected to mobilise men and materials to site before the end of the year.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Teslim Folarin, stated this while receiving the report of the finance sub-committee of the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power projects.

He said the subcommittee was an off shoot of the Technical Working Group on Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power Local Content, which was inaugurated in June, 2020.

The Federal Executive Council had on 30th August 2017, approved the contract on the Mambilla Hydro Electric Power Project in the sum of $5.792bn for the construction of 3050MW.

The project was awarded to Chinese contractors JV (CGGC-SHC-CGCC), with the site in Gembu, Taraba State.

Folarin noted that the challenges that emanated in the course of the execution of the project, made the Presidential Committee on North-East Development now the North East Development Commission review the initial plan of the Technical Working Group.

He said the NEDC came up with a working document, wherein, the work of the TWG was reshaped and streamlined for effective and seamless implementation of the project.

He said, “Thereafter, the reviewed report was forwarded to the National Assembly for further legislative action.

“Consequently, the National Assembly along with the Technical Working Group, constituted the Finance Sub-Committee under the Chairmanship of the Executive Director, NEXIM Bank.

“The Sub-Committee was inaugurated earlier this year by the Senate Committee on Local Content and it was mandated to report back to the Committee within six weeks.”

The Senator said the subcommittee was mandated to work out modalities that would facilitate the financial requirement of the local content aspect of the project, which was estimated at N1.7bn representing 30 per cent of the approved contract of $5.7bn.

He said, “The Nigerian Export and Import Bank was mandated to play the lead role in the sub-committee, while the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority was to serve as the secretariat of the panel.

“I have no doubt in my mind that all these issues, among others, are succinctly addressed in the report  and I believe that at the end, we shall have a document that will provide a way forward on the project.”

Speaking with journalists after the presentation of the report, Teslim said the major legal incumbrance which had made it almost impossible for the legacy project to take off, had been resolved.

He said, “We have made some progress and breakthroughs.

“The Federal Government was mandated to pay to the contractors, (Sunrise) $200m and that if we don’t pay within a stipulated time,  it would accrue interest.

“As far as the contractors are concerned, they said the money is now $400m because of the accumulated interests.

“The project was officially awarded by the Federal Executive Council on August 30, 2017, and it has been signed as a contract between the Nigerian government, ministry of power and the Chinese Joint Venture of CGGC.”