Coronavirus: Taraba Govt Raises Alarm Over Mambilla Power Project Delay

  • Debunks reports on land compensation payment 

BY AMEH IDUJAGI, JALINGO – Taraba State government has raised an alarm that the Corona virus pandemic is set to further delay commencement of work on the multi-billion Naira Mambilla hydro-power project in the state.

Expressing the government’s fears at a press briefing on Sunday,, State Commissioner of Power, Dr Badina Garba. said the project is bound to suffer obvious delay if the Covid-19 pandemic persists.

He said being financed by a Chinese Bank, with a Chinese company handling its execution, it will be difficult for work to commence on the Mambilla power project in the face of ravaging global health threat that has been traced to China.

The Commissioner noted that the corona virus pandemic, which is shutting down almost every part of the world, with China as the worse hit, has continued to wreck havoc on businesses unabated.

Dr Gsrba however expressed hope that the pandemic would be controlled within a shortest period of time in order that the project does not suffer further setback after so many years in the doldrums.

In his remarks at the event, the State Commissioner of Information, Barrister Danjuma Adamu dismissed as untrue media reports that Governor Darius Ishaku refused to collect the cheque approved by the Federal government to compensate individuals and communities whose land would be affected by the project.

According to him, funds provided by the Federal Government was meant for the survey works and not for compensation, adding that due process is being applied to ensure judicious payment of professional fees to the surveyors.

Adamu said the payment of compensation had not started as reported by the media, adding; “A lot of work still need to be done by the State and Federal Ministry of Power before getting to that stage.

“Governor Darius has directed that this must be thoroughly conducted to avoid complaints and controversies now and in future”, he said.

The Commissioner said Governor Darius attaches huge importance to the project, pointing out that this informed the decision to award contracts for Mararaba-Baissa and Abong-Nguroje roads which are part of federal roads

He said the road project is funded by Taraba state government as part of conscious efforts to see the power project’s actualization having been on drawing board for several years.

Adamu explained that the road is to provide access to the power project site which is one of the difficult problems facing its smooth execution, noting that the governnor also hosted the sensitization meeting of critical stakeholders in Abuja recently with the view to having all stakeholders buy-in for the project implementation.

Hinting that the stakeholders’ meeting actually achieved its purpose of removing all bottlenecks against the project, the Commissioner said; “Governor Ishaku, a former Minister of Power, knows more than most Nigerians the benefits of Mambilla Hydro-power project, what it will take to realize it and the need to carry along all the stakeholders on the project.”

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