Thursday , 26 November 2020

Senators quiz minister over zero allocation to Mambilla power project in 2021 budget

Members of the Senate Committee on Power on Monday decried zero allocation to Mambilla power project in the 2021 budget.

The senators asked the Minister of Power, Mamman Sale, to explain why the project not did appear to be a priority to the Federal Government.

The lawmakers grilled Sale when he appeared before the committee to defend the 2021 budget estimates of his ministry in Abuja.

Danjuma Goje (Gombe South) told the minister that he was not sure the project was on Federal Government’s priority.

Shuaibu Isa Lau (Taraba North) expressed doubt about Federal Government’s sincerity to complete the project, which was conceptualised over 20 years ago.

Lau said: “…For me, the way I am looking at it: this project will not see the light of the day. That is the truth about it. When you don’t have a road to go to Mambilla, how do you start that project? How?

“There is no road leading to Mambilla and you have a court case that has not been settled. The Chinese company cannot come with the court case pending.

What is the position of the court case? How do we resolve this issue, honourable minister? You could have seen from the budget that there is nothing in the (2021) budget that concerns the Mambilla project.”

James Manager regretted that there is no provision for the project in the 2021 budget currently being scrutinised by the National Assembly.

Sale said he had been working, since assumption of office, to actualise the project.

He added: “…All these years, people keep talking about Mambilla. It wasn’t a reality. There was nothing on the ground.

“Now, I have come and I have started. I have told you how far I have gone… There is money set aside in the counterpart funding to the tune of $200 million. This money has been there for a very long time under the office of the Chief of Staff (to the President).”

“I keep on pressing all the time that this money should be released to me so I can go to the site and start doing some clearance. It is with this money that we are going to do roads, site clearing and ground-breaking so that we can show the whole world that we are ready. Any investor that is ready to invest, let him come.”

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