President Jonathan Approves $7bn Mambilla Hydro Dam contract for 3,050MW
President Goodluck Jonathan will sign the Mambilla Hydro Dam contract next month.
The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammed Wakil, who spoke at a rally of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) in Gombe, said: “President Goodluck Jonathan has broken the jinx of the Mambilla Hydro Dam, which is worth about seven billion dollars.”
He added that the Kashambilla Hydro Dam has reached about 95 percent completion. “This is in addition to the new transmission lines across the zone.”
The minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Olawale Rasheed, who spoke yesterday in a statement, said the dam would generate over 3,000 mega watts and was about the biggest on the continent.
“This project has been on the drawing board since 1970.”
Wakil described President Jonathan’s record in the power sector as unrivalled in the history of the country, saying the Northeast was grateful for the power projects in the region.
He said: “Jonathan has implemented the most ambitious and very successful power sector reform in Africa. Major international agencies have acknowledged this fact.” The minister toured the sites of the power projects in Borno State. Despite insecurity, he visited a sub-station on Baga Road in Maiduguri where a newly-approved transformer would be located.
He also visited the site of the 330KV transmission sub-station on Damboa Road. Work was suspended at the site due to insecurity. Wakil said work would resume after the tightening of security at power installations in the state.
President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the construction of the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla power plant in order to uplift the North-East by boosting power supply and infrastructural development in the region, which had been ravaged by the devastating activities of insurgents.
The Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammed Wakil, had told a delegation from Power China on a visit to his office in June 2014.
The power minister stated that the President approved the Mambilla project because of his conviction that boosting economic life in the region was the surest way to engage youths that were being lured to militancy.
Wakil said the Mambilla project was conceived in 1960 but now given a new lease of life and that “the President is committed to pulling the North-East out of decades of under development which has been worsened by the insurgency in the area.”
He added, “Mr. President does not want the North-East to continue to lag behind. This informed his chairing the region’s zonal economic summit few months ago. As part of the fallout from that platform, a strategy for expanding power and other infrastructure development for the region was adopted to boost economic life and gainfully employ the youth.
“One of the key projects agreed upon at the forum is the Mambilla project. It is envisaged that the completion of the project will create economic opportunities for youths. As we are having many major power projects ongoing, so are other key projects in areas of road development, water and educational infrastructure.”
The Vice President, Power China, Mr. Du Chunguo, expressed the firm’s readiness to join the transformation of key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“We are here in Nigeria to be part of the commendable reforms in the power sector and we are identifying areas where we can come in,” he said.