Mam­billa hy­dropower: Fashola de­nies di­vert­ing N219bn from project fund

Daily Trust - - MONDAYBUSINESS - By Si­mon Echewo­fun Sun­day

The Min­is­ter of Power, Works and Hous­ing, Mr Ba­batunde Fashola has dis­missed claims that his team is di­vert­ing $600 mil­lion (about N219 bil­lion) from the loan fi­nance for the 3050 megawatts (MW) Mam­billa hy­dropower project in Taraba State.

In a state­ment is­sued by his spokesman, Ha­keem Bello, Fashola de­scribed the al­le­ga­tion made by Leno Ade­sanya, Chair­man of Sun­rise Power Trans­mis­sion Lim­ited, a sup­posed lo­cal part­ner for the project, as spu­ri­ous and un­founded.

The state­ment read in part: ‘’It has there­fore be­come nec­es­sary to de­bunk the lies and re­sist the un­jus­ti­fied and ma­li­cious at­tack on the per­son of the Hon. Min­is­ter, Mr Ba­batunde Fashola SAN and save the in­no­cent mem­bers of the pub­lic from the rather mis­lead­ing and of­fen­sive pub­li­ca­tion widely cir­cu­lat­ing in var­i­ous me­dia plat­forms, au­thored and spon­sored by Mr Ade­sanya in or­der to dam­age good name and rep­u­ta­tion of the Min­is­ter to claim un­due credit and at­tract un­war­ranted at­ten­tion and sym­pa­thy.

“Noth­ing is more fur­ther away from the truth than the claim that the loan ne­go­ti­a­tions have stalled since 2017 be­cause of an at­tempt to uti­lize $600 Mil­lion (equiv­a­lent of N219 Bil­lion) from the 3,050MW hy­dropower project for a “pet project” not hith­erto con­sid­ered by the Fed­eral Ex­ec­u­tive Coun­cil.

“There is cur­rently no bud­getary pro­vi­sion or cash pro­vi­sion of $600 mil­lion or the N219 Bil­lion in any bud­get of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment for the Mam­bila Project.

“There­fore you can­not at­tempt to di­vert what does not ex­ist.

“For the avoid­ance of doubt, the China Exim Bank dis­burse money to spe­cific projects and on con­clu­sion of ne­go­ti­a­tions, the loan will be de­voted to the con­struc­tion of the Mam­bila Power Project, which has been on the draw­ing board for close to 40 years be­fore the ad­vent of the Buhari ad­min­is­tra­tion which is now work­ing as­sid­u­ously to get the project off the ground.

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