Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The federal government is set to commence the payment of compensation to host communities in Taraba state, where the take-off of the long-awaited Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project is be located.
Speaking during the official kick-off of the sensitisation of the host communities on government’s payment plan, the Minister of Power, Mr. Sale Mamman, conveyed government apologies and said the compensation for landowners was delayed by the covid-19 pandemic.
Mamman stressed that part of reasons for the meeting was to disseminate the desired information and galvanise their support as the federal government moves to the project implementation stage.
According to him, the next step would encompass the survey and enumeration for compensation after the constitution of the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC) and the Project Delivery Committee (PDC) on the project by President Muhammadu Buhari, in January this year.
He said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Taraba state government, before now, was to enhance project coordination and to facilitate acquiring land titles for the project sites.
Mamman added that the land and aerial surveys of the project site, development of a comprehensive project implementation manual (PIM), a comprehensive local content promotion strategy and gathering of 50-year hydrological data of the Mambilla Plateau, had also been carried out.
The minister also stated that the government had identified new ways of resolving the lingering arbitration on the project and reviewing of the project to ensure its bankability as required by the lenders to ensure that the project will offer the cheapest electricity tariffs to the market.
Apart from the developments on the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project, Mamman assured that the Regional National Power Training Centre in Gembu will be in full swing very soon as modalities for its take-off is completed.
“This is a strategic manpower development initiative to adequately prepare the people of Mambilla Plateau in particular and the state in general to drive maximum benefits on the hydropower project by getting the professional skills required in different components of the project.
“For the host communities, let me assure you that this project is not in any way going to short-change anyone of you as we are deploying global best standard models for compensation and other engagements with you,” he said.