Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari thursday in Beijing, China, was given assurances from the joint venture partners handling the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydro-electric power plant that all processes leading to its take-off next year would soon be completed.
A statement by the presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said at the meeting in Beijing with the President of CGCC, the construction company, Professor Lyu Ze Xiang, Buhari got a briefing on timelines for the commencement of the project following the success of an earlier meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
He said Buhari, who likened the Mambilla to China’s Three Gorges Dam, said given the significance of the project to the Nigeria’s socio-economic development, there was a need for its speedy completion.
“I am very pleased with the concern you have shown for the significance of this project,” he told the head of the construction giant, adding that “I would like you to ensure its speedy completion.”
According to the statement, Xiang informed Buhari that Nigerian officials and the project consultant would meet in the next two weeks to address the questions raised by the Chinese president for more details and updated feasibility and sustainability studies, adding that a team had already been set up to work on the financing aspect.
“We fully understand the importance of this project to the economic and social wellbeing of Nigeria. In two weeks, we will sit down with all the parties for the economic and sustainability analysis. It would take about four weeks to conclude the update,” the contractor reportedly said.
The statement further said the lead contractor stated that the “pre-commencement work” would thereafter begin, dealing with access to site and putting in place the necessary support infrastructure such as power, water and transportation.
The statement added that the contractor told Buhari shortly before his departure from China that “our target is to commence the project early next year.”