The Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu yesterday explained why Mambilla and some other power projects across the country were yet to be completed.
This was as he disclosed that the draw-down of the N160 billion bilateral loans for power projects has been deferred till 2022.
The minister gave the explanation when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Power to defend the ministry’s N301.258 billion 2022 budget proposal.
Addressing lawmakers on status of Mambilla, the Minister said there were some legal issues impeding its completion.
According to him, “It is being told in the press that we have a case on Mambilla. Someone has taken us to court to claim that he was the initial contractor for Mambilla and the Chinese, who are supposed to bring money for the construction withheld their money because of that arbitration and it is not in Nigeria.
“It has been taken to Paris, which we have been working seriously even before now. And now we have reactivated discussions and we are working on that to see how we can pull down that encumbrance. Actually I would not want to continue to talk on that since it is something that is being negotiated at a certain level.
“Once you say much about it, it may affect what is going on since we have not reached any agreement on anything yet. But we are working day and night to see how we can resolve that issue. The con contract has been signed since 2017, but the financial contract between the Nigeria and Chinese was not signed.
“So nothing about money exchanging on Mambilla as far as the loan is concerned but we are trying hard to see how we can resolve the legal issues, which the Attorney General is heading that team. This is as far as i can say on the issue of Mambilla.”
On Kashambila, the Minister explained that they were working towards reconnecting villages surrounding the facility with electricity, to be able to commission the project.
He said if everything goes well, then the project would be ready for commissioning by December.
“It is a project that has 40MW which is ready for commissioning soon. We are looking to commission it in December if everything goes well. What is preventing us from going there to commission is that what we call catchment areas, the villages that surround that facility needed to connect with electricity.
“We are working seriously to connect these communities. It is ongoing. The communities that we displaced by the construction of that dam who were relocated but they live around that area, between now and December we would be done with it and commission the first phase.
“The second phase is ongoing, which is the transmission lines from the Kashambilla area to other places. Once we go for the commission in December we would do the ground breaking of the second phase,” Aliyu said.
Speaking on the proposed budget for 2022, he said out of the total sum of N75.462 billion proposed for the Ministry, the sum of N74.227 billion was for capital expenditure, N249.508 million was for overhead expenditure while N984.248 million is for personnel expenditure.
While assuring that the ministry had put in place efficient machinery for smooth implementation of 2022 budget proposal, he added that the ministry had initiated a national programme to provide alternative power supply for strategic federal government building and military formations using renewable energy particularly solar photo voltaic (SPV) with the primary objective of increasing access to renewable sustainable and affordable power supply options in line with Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 (SDG) and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
In his response to the soar relationship between the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Generation Companies (GENCO) and Distribution Companies (DISCO), the Minister who acknowledged the impact of the disagreement on the sector, affirmed that the sector was mostly privatised.
He said, “Some of the responsibilities are outsourced. Our partners at the generation level, distribution level and the government is handling is the transmission.