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Mambilla Power Project: Senate Wants Power Ministry, Taraba Govt. To Account For N812M Spent on Survey, Demarcation


The Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswam, said the Minister of Power Mamman Saleh must account for the N812 million the Federal Government paid to the Taraba State government for surveying and demarcation of land where Mambilla Hydro Power Project  would be sited.

Senator Suswam speaking when the Minister for Power, Mammam   appeared before members of the Senate Committee on Power in Abuja.

Senator Yusuf A.Yusuf representing Taraba Central expressed concern that paying the money to the state government would make it impossible for the Senate panel to oversee how the money is spent.


"We can't appropriate money for land survey and demarcation for Mambilla power project and the money is given to Taraba State government to engage land surveyors. This will make it difficult for the Senate to monitor the usage of the money," Yusuf said.


The minister said the money was paid to Taraba State government based on the agreement between the state and the federal government.


"We entered into agreement with the state to support it with money to engage firms, based on the local procurement process, to survey and demarcate the land it donated for the project," he said.


Suswam, however, insisted that the ministry must give account of how the money was used since it was given by the federal government.


"It is left for you to ask the Taraba State government to furnish you with the details of how the N812 million was spent," Suswam said.


Mamman had earlier told the Committee that the capacity of the Mambilla hydro power has been reduced from 3,050 to 1,500 megawatts.

The minister said the capacity of the power project was adjusted to 1,500 megawatts to make it bankable and acceptable to lenders.


Saleh said: "We discovered that the 3,050 megawatts is not viable. We have sent officials to China to review the project and the memo is on the table of Mr President waiting for approval.


"The idea of re-scoping the project is to make it bankable. The market that we are operating today in Nigeria is different from the market that was operated when the Mambilla project was conceived.


"Today we need a project that can be paid for in the market. We are funding the project with loan from a lender who is only interested in funding a project that can pay back the loan.


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