Nigeria’s minister of power, works and housing Babatunde Fashola, says the nation’s 3, 050 megawatts Mambilla Power Plant will cost $5.72 billion.
Fashola said arrangements were at an advanced stage to secure the funds from the Chinese government in the form of loans.
The minister, who said this at a ceremony to mark his three years in office, added that work on the Mambilla Power Plant, which had suffered several setbacks for over 40 years, is set to commence from early 2019.
According to the minister, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the project.
Fashola said President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to ensuring the urgent commencement of the project, which is expected to be completed within 60 months.
On the level of development of the project, the minister said, “the progress is that for the first time in over 40 years the federal government has now signed an engineering and procurement contract. President Buhari has made that possible.
“All the companies that were fighting themselves and going to court when we came are out of court. We have a contract, a joint venture; we created that joint venture; we have a contract with them we have signed. FEC has approved the project; it is going to cost $5.72 billion.”
He explained that the choice of the Chinese company, CGCC, to handle the project, was because it built China’s Gorges Dam which is similar to the Mambilla power plant.
“They have the technology; they have done it before; no need to reinvent the wheel. We will take a loan; we are now trying to negotiate the final tranche of the loan,’’ Fashola said.
“The Nigerian government is supposed to provide 15 per cent of the total cost of the project as its counterpart funding.
“You don’t budget all of the money at once and even if the loan was approved today, you wouldn’t draw it all down because it is a minimum of 60 months construction time, assuming that there are no hitches. That is where we are.”