Governor of Taraba State, Arc Darius Ishaku, is unhappy with the delay in the take-off of the Mambilla Hydro Electricity Power project and warned that this attitude could cripple the nation’s hope for stable electricity supply.
Ishaku who spoke recently in Jalingo, when the Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri called on him in Government House, Jalingo, said the apparent silence and non-action on the project by the Federal Government had become worrisome. He said it had become obvious that the current power generation facilities in the country will not meet the nation’s power needs which has continued to grow and expressed surprise that this reality has not jolted the government into action on the Mambilla project. “We have the Mambilla, the biggest facility for power generation in West Africa. Let’s start building the facility now so that in six years when it is completed we will be in a position to boast of 6,000 MWs of electricity power,” he said.
The governor reminded the Federal Government that there was no short cut to the realisation of this project. Those steps that need to be taken must be followed one after the other. He said there were at least seven of such steps which include sensitization, resettlement and compensation of the people to be affected by the project and these preliminary steps will take not less than one year to complete. “We must remove these encumbrances as part of a realistic beginning. There can be no short cut to all of these steps”, he noted.
He assured the Federal Government of the readiness of the Taraba State government and the people for the take-off of the project and advised that the right things must be done from the beginning. “Let the project start. Let’s give Nigerians stable electricity and it does not matter which political party provides it. We are all eager in Taraba State and we will support the project as a key partner because it is a great project and it is a Nigerian project”, he noted.
Governor Ishaku also spoke of the plan by his administration to build 5,000 houses through a partnership with foreign investors. It is part of his administration’s welfare package for civil servants. He said henceforth, every new entrant into the civil service of the state would be encouraged to own their own houses through deductions that will be made from their monthly salaries. Such people should be able to move into such apartments after five years of contributions through regular deductions.
Speaking earlier, the Minister who was in the state to unveil 200 housing units built in Jalingo by a private estate developer, said the Federal Government was determined to solve the lingering problem of housing deficit in the country. The Federal Government, he said, was planning 5,000 housing units per state as part of the efforts for end the problem.
Mr Shehuri also informed Governor Ishaku that all paper works concerning the Jalingo-Numan road had been completed and the formal approval of the project would soon be given by the Federal Executive Council.