The controversial Mambilla Hydro Electric Power project which has defied every known solution, has come to the fore again with the Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, disclosing that the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the award of $5.8 billion contract to Sunrise Power.
Fielding questions during an interrogation, the Minister told senators that his ministry has met with stakeholders and all issues of concern are being resolved.
He revealed that the Sunrise litigation on the project was the only problem hampering its commencement.
“It has something to do with litigation. There is nothing going on as regards moving to site.
“The EFCC has stepped into the matter and we have given them information about it. We have given them the history of the power project. Our lawyers have interfaced with the anti-graft agency. Unless we are able to pull out of litigation, we can’t do anything.
“I don’t think the investor will bring his money where there is encumbrance.” he said.
Chairman, senate committee on power, Gabriel Susuwan, said the project has turned a mirage as far as the National Assembly was concerned since funds budgeted over many years have left nothing on ground.
According to him, the initial scope of the project was slightly about 3,000 megawatts, saying there were issues.
“We were told that it was going to be re-scoped. Till date, even the re-scoping of the project has not been done.
“So in essence, it means that there is no project that is on ground like Mambilla. It is all about talks and lips service. That is why we are concerned about the money that is provided for consultancy and the money used for the training of staff that are supposed to be utilised if Mambilla was in place.
“Why provide money all these years when nothing actually is on ground.
“Since 2017, monies have been provided for Mambila but nothing has been done on the project in spite of the pressure we have been mounting on federal government.
“It is clear that the Mambilla power project will not be able to start before the end of this administration,” he noted.
When completed, the 3,050megawatts power station is expected to be the largest power-generating installation in the country, and one of the largest hydroelectric power stations in Africa.