With the controversy trailing the handling of the $5.7billion Mambilla hydropower project, which is expected to reduce the nation’s power problem to the barest minimum, Raheem Akingbolu writes that the project has not only suffered a setback but is causing the country a huge loss to litigation and other avoidable expenses
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, stirred up a hornet’s nest recently while reviewing the power sector, with his dismissal of a Nigeria firm, Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Limited (SPTCL) and the company’s involvement in Mambilla hydropower project. Though the minister admitted that the project was not just a power project, economic driver, he argued that there was no time it was expressly stated that SPTCL was awarded any contract. He also stated that there was no point for an intermediary in a government to government relationship as it concerns Nigeria and China in the case under review.
Fashola stated that the project was an investment in infrastructure and that he couldn’t remember in a short time when Nigeria dedicated as huge as $5.7billion to such project. Among other opportunities, he stated that during and after the construction must have been completed, local contractors, SMEs and players in the agricultural sector, who require irrigation to survive, in some part of the country, would have been hugely impacted. The merit of the minister’s submission notwithstanding, many analysts have argued that he was unfair to the Nigerian firm – SPTCL, who is believed to have nurtured the project from the conception period. It has also been argued that the minister’s decision to puncture the integrity of the firm was a calculated attempt to call the dog a bad name in order to hang it.