President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday endorsed the constitution of two committees, with a mandate to deliver the Mambilla power project. The decision is a watershed moment for the Nigerian rudderless power sector, considering that the ambitious project, estimated to be around N2 trillion will deliver a whopping 3,050 megawatts of electricity, easily making Mambilla the biggest power plant in the country.
Nigeria’s peak power generation for 2020 stood at 4,898.2 Megawatts as of 10th January 2020 though average generation hovers well below 4,000MW at the best of times.
Power Minister, Sale Mamman, has been appointed chair of the Inter-ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC) while the Director in charge of Renewable Energy in the Power Ministry will head the Project Delivery Committee (PDC), a statement by the Media Adviser to the Power Minister, Aaron Aritmas said.
The IMSC has a duty to pave the way for the seamless execution and delivery of the Mambilla hydroelectric power plant. It has been set a deadline of six months to review the project engineering and technical design concept towards attaining utmost efficiency and position the power plant to serve the immediate target market (the North-East geopolitical zone) as best as it can.
The onus is on the PDC to spearhead the design of a structure for post-project operational management, which will guarantee the smooth running of the project from point of delivery onwards.
Aritmas disclosed that representatives of Federal Government agencies and Taraba State Government made up the Inter-ministerial Steering Committee.
Among the government agencies are ministries of water resources, Environment, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Information and Culture, Works and Housing, and Mines and Steel Development. There are also representatives of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, National Security Adviser, the Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority.
The Mambilla Power Project had been stagnated for 40 years before intervention came its way in November 2017 when the Nigerian government inked a deal with China-based Sinohydro Corp. The back and forth however persisted for nearly two years after before government made concrete plans to compensate owners of the properties to be demolished for the project to take root.
The fact that the hydro project is a renewable energy plant is a major advantage, which obviates the need to source for gas to power the national grid at a pretty outrageous cost. Beyond the certainty that the humongous capacity of the power the scheme will generate will ease Nigerians significantly of the current power crisis, the location of the plant may trigger a lot of economic and industrial activities in the host community and the whole of the North East.
Individual job seekers and contractors should be in for some perks also as experts said the project will provide jobs in the neighbourhood of 50,000.
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