By Anthony Isaac
The Federal Government says it is working with the Taraba State government to acquire the land needed for the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydroelectric power project.
The construction of the project was awarded to a consortium of Chinese companies in 2017 at the cost of $5.79 billion with the bulk of the funding coming from the Chinese EXIM Bank.
But over two years after, work is yet to commence due to dispute over land for the project in Taraba State.
To facilitate the project, President Muhammadu Buhari recent set up two committees to ensure the take-off of the project.
Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee for the Implementation Of the Mambilla Hydro project and the Project Delivery Committee, the Minister of Power, Engr Saleh Mamman called all stakeholders in the project to work together to ensure its delivery.
Mamman who is the Chairman of the IMSC explained that prior to the innuguaration of the committee the ministry had taken some steps towards the successful take-off of the project.
“These include effective collaboration with the Taraba State government, commencement of sensitization of the host communities in seven local governments in Taraba State, engagement of land surveyors to demarcate the project areas and commence enumeration.
“We have also signed a memorandum of understanding with Taraba State government for the implementation of the project”, he added.
Speaking shortly after its inauguration, the Chairman of the Project Delivery Committee, Engr Faruk Yabo said it was unfortunate that several years after the project was approved issues of land was still a problem.
He assured that the committee would work to ensure that issues were resolved.
He said the committee would work with the Chinese Exim Bank to ensure financial closure for the project, explaining that the Chinese Bank was worried about the commercial viability of the project.