- Mambilla: Chinese Firm to Begin Work Early 2019
The Presidency said on Thursday that the Joint Venture partners engaged to construct the 3,050 Megawatts Mambilla hydropower plant had assured President Muhammadu Buhari that they planned to start work on the project early next year.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement that the Chinese consortium informed Buhari that all preliminary processes necessary to start work on the project would soon be completed.
Shehu said Buhari, who was in China to attend the just-concluded Forum of China-Africa Cooperation summit, met with the President of the CGCC, the construction consortium, Prof Lyu Ze Xiang, in Beinjing on Thursday.
According to Shehu, Buhari met with officials of the construction company shortly before his departure at the conclusion of his six-day official trip to China.
The meeting was said to have followed an earlier bilateral interaction between Buhari and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, who had promised to support the Mambilla hydropower project.
Buhari was said to have, following the meeting with Jinping, asked to be briefed on the timelines for the commencement of work on the project.
The President, who was said to have likened the Mambilla project to China’s Three Gorges Dam, had reiterated the need for its speedy completion due to its socio-economic significance.
Responding, Xiang noted that President Jinping had requested more detailed and updated feasibility and sustainability studies on the project.
He informed Buhari that Nigerian officials and the project consultant would meet in two weeks to address the questions raised by the Chinese President.
Xiang said it would take four weeks to send the update requested by the Chinese leader, and thereafter there would be pre-commencement work dealing with access to site and putting in place the necessary support infrastructure such as power, water and transportation.
He stated that the target was to start work on the project early next year.
Xiang said, “We fully understand the importance of this project to the economic and social wellbeing of Nigeria.
“In two weeks, we will sit down with the parties for the economic and sustainability analysis. It will take about four weeks to conclude the update. Our target is to commence the project early next year.”