Mambilla hydropower: Fashola denies diverting N219bn from project fund
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.