The Mambilla hydro-electric power project in Taraba State was initiated in 1982 to serve as the largest single hydro-power station in Nigeria. The contract was awarded on May 28, 2007 at the sum of $3.2 billion to China Gezhouba Group Company Limited (CGGC) and another Chinese consortium, Sinohydro.
The current six biggest thermal stations in the country have a total capacity of 3030 mw which is still far less than Mambilla’s 3,050 megawatts.
It was gathered that the contract sum has increased to about $6billion due to inflationary trends as Chinese Firms are expected to provide 70 per cent of the sum while 30 per cent would be provided by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Due to various factors the project was suspended during the previous administrations.
In an effort to ensure the speedy completion of the project, President Muhammadu Buhari was in China this year to seek the assistance of Chinese government, the major financier for the power-station.
Recently some foreign engineers in company of government officials on an inspection visit to Taraba State refused to proceed further to Barup, the project site due to bad roads damaged by massive landslide.
Other access roads are bushy that only bikes could ply while the rivers have no functional bridges.
All entreaties by officials and members of the local community were not heeded by the foreigners who insisted that they would not continue the journey on dangerous paths.
Government sources disclosed that the Minister, Raji Fashola has shown keen interest in ensuring the completion of the project because of its potential to add 3000MW to the grid through Hydro-Electric project rather than expensive gas plants.
The officer added that “the Ministry is working towards assessing the condition of the roads for immediate solutions. We are all aware that the project would provide employment opportunities and is expected to boost national economic growth.”