By Haruna Salami
The much anticipated Mambila Hydro Power Project in Taraba state may not come to fruition as the challenges facing the project are enormous.
This fact was revealed Monday at the budget defence of the Ministry of Power before the Senate Committee.
Senator Ibrahim Lau spoke the mind of other senators when he said the power project “will not see the light of day” due to lack of political will on the part of government as demonstrated by the zero allocation for the project in 2021 budget.
Litigation and lack of access road are other challenges facing the project, according to Lau, adding that “we are going in a circle for twenty years”.
Senator James Manager, speaking on the project said he gets “frustrated” and wondered “why are we like this?
However, the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman said “God knows I’m doing my best” adding that “all these years there was nothing done on Mambila project”.
He said there was nothing on ground before his appointment, but revealed that the counterpart fund of $200 million is with the presidency.
Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf from Taraba central hailed the budget defence without which they wouldn’t have known the status of the project.
Armed with this information, Yusuf said the Committee has asked the Minister of Power to go back and get them proper clarification of why there is no provision for the project in the 2020 budget, a situation he described as worrisome to them.
“For a very big, very important and strategic project like this, that the Minister of Power failed to make provision in 2020 budget, to even pass it to the Federal Executive Council, FEC.
“If he had made the provision and the FEC rejected it, it would have been a different matter.
“I don’t think it’s an oversight, I think probably it’s lack of will to embark on this project in the first place by the Ministry of Power”, Yusuf said.
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