Poor funding responsible for unrealistic stable power supply in Nigeria — Senate
•As FG fails to meet 15% commitment to project development
THE Senate on Monday said Nigerians’ hope for improved power supply is unrealistic due to poor funding by the Federal Government.
The conclusion of the Senate is sequel to the revelation by the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh, that the $5.8 million Mambilla project was yet to take off.
Saleh had appeared before the Senate committee on power to defend the 2021 budget when he made the revelation.
The committee was also surprised by the submission of the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz, that out of N165 billion required for capital project in 2020, N4 billlion envelope was given, out of which only N3 billion was cash-backed.
Taking up the minister on the Mambilla project, chairman of the committee, Sen- ator Gabriel Suswam and other members like Senators Shaibu Lau, Danjuma Goje and James Manager, won- dered why there was no allocation for the project in the 2021 budget.
Senator Lau, who hails from Taraba State, told the committee that despite promises made on the project by the Federal Government on a yearly basis, there is no access road to the project site yet.
Responding, the minister admitted that the project was yet to take off, adding that a special fund of $200 million targeted for the project was still in the office of
the Chief of Staff, while the N850 million expected from Nigeria as 15 per cent of the contract sum was yet to be paid.
The 85 per cent contract sum, he added, is to be financed by the Chinese NEXIM Bank.
Manager said going by the submission of the minister, the government had not shown seriousness concerning the project.
Goje, in his own comment, said “the hope of getting stable power supply in Nigeria in the nearest future is dashed, going by gross underfunding of the sector and lack of required seriousness on those managing it.”
The TCN managing director, however, said the transmis- sion capacity of the country had increased from 5,000 megawatts to 8,000 megawatts.