26 June 2014, Abuja – President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the construction of the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla power plant in Taraba State, the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Mohammed Wakil, has said.
According to Wakil, the move by the President was in order to uplift the North-East by boosting power supply and infrastructural development in the region, which had been ravaged by the devastating activities of insurgents.
He disclosed this at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power in Abuja while playing host to a delegation from Power China on Tuesday.
The power minister, in a statement issued by his Special Assistant, Media, Mr. Olawale Rasheed, stated that the President approved the Mambilla project because of his conviction that boosting economic life in the region was the surest way to engage youths that were being lured to militancy.
Wakil said the Mambilla project was conceived in 1960 but now given a new lease of life and that “the President is committed to pulling the North-East out of decades of under development which has been worsened by the insurgency in the area.”
He added, “Mr. President does not want the North-East to continue to lag behind. This informed his chairing the region’s zonal economic summit few months ago. As part of the fallout from that platform, a strategy for expanding power and other infrastructure development for the region was adopted to boost economic life and gainfully employ the youth.
“One of the key projects agreed upon at the forum is the Mambilla project. It is envisaged that the completion of the project will create economic opportunities for youths. As we are having many major power projects ongoing, so are other key projects in areas of road development, water and educational infrastructure.”
The Vice President, Power China, Mr. Du Chunguo, expressed the firm’s readiness to join the transformation of key sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“We are here in Nigeria to be part of the commendable reforms in the power sector and we are identifying areas where we can come in,” he said.
– The Punch