Construction of the 3050 megawatts (MW) Mambilla hydro dam will begin soon following a peaceful resolution between the federal government and the Chinese government, of alleged breach of contract terms which has stalled the project for about nine years now which is supposed to generate more electricity to Nigerians.
The lot 1 of the project which is located in Taraba State, was initially awarded to Chinese firm CGGC/CGC under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration in 2007, but was later terminated by the late President Musa Yar’Adua’s administration when last minute contracts awarded by the Obasanjo administration were being revoked.
CGGC/CGC had before the termination presented its 10 per cent bank bond for the advance payment guarantee, spent money on drawings, engineering works and staff mobilisation.
However, the project was later re-awarded by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration and split with another Chinese Firm, Messers Sinohydro, which was awarded 70 per cent of the contract scope, while CGGC/CGC was left with 30 per cent scope.
The development was rejected by CGGC/CGC and the Chinese government which insisted it would not proceed with the planned 75 per cent counterpart funding to the tune of $3.2 billion on a Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement, unless the Nigerian government reverses to the original Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Sources within the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, said that President Muhammadu Buhari recently met with the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria and the managing directors of CGGC/CGC at the presidential villa, where the long standing crisis was resolved.
The source informed that the president directed the firms to come up with an agreement defining the responsibility and scope of the work within three weeks, in line with the original MoU.
The working agreement, he said, would then be reviewed by the government and eventually signed off to pave way for the commencement of the project’s construction.
Another source within the presidency said the present administration perceived as unwise past governments disrespect for contract sanctity, thereby stalling a project capable of adding 3050MW to the national grid.
“Incidentally it is the Chinese that are funding the project for us, this is a project that is very vital in view of the fact that about 70 per cent of our power supply comes from gas power plants, and we all know the challenges of gas supply to power and how that has resulted to poor quality of electricity supply,” the source who did not want to be named said.