In a letter sent to a news media (not SweetcrudeReports) and signed by the permanent secretary Amb. Godknows B. Igali of the ministry admitted that the “project has been in the drawing board for about 30 years,” but that the ministry “is currently working on firming the project cost.”
The news media had noted in its report which sparked the response that Nigeria’s biggest hydro project: Mambila dam project has been on the drawing board for 31 years.
Igali said, “The Ministry is in agreement that the Mambilla project has been on the drawing board for about 30 years. This, however, is not unexpected for hydro projects of this complexity, scope and size.
“This is very well in accordance with the project development process of such projects and in line with International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) standards on construction of large dams prescribing a requirement for detailed study and re-study, design and redesign of large dam projects until optimal efficiency levels are attained.”
Part of the contract was earlier awarded to a Chinese firm but later cancelled and another Chinese consortium close to people in government is trying to influence the power ministry to handover the whole project on a turnkey basis to their company without a tender.
But the permanent secretary said, “The Ministry further wishes to clarify that there is no substance in the statement in your article that a $3.2 billion (N580 billion) contract has been awarded in favour of a Chinese consortium for the Mambilla project with a sharing ratio of 70/30. On the contrary, the Ministry is currently working on firming the project cost and the contracting parties in compliance with all the necessary guidelines of the Public Procurement Act.”
With respect to possible commencement of construction, most of the ongoing discussion is with Chinese EPC firms, most of which have repeatedly shown interest in providing funding for the project, the ministry said.
*Nuruddeen M. Abdallah, Daily Trust