The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said there is no budgetary provision for the construction of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila hydropower project.
The minister was reacting to reports that the loan negotiations for the project had stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilise $600 million (N219 billion) from the project for an alleged pet project not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.
According to him, the claims were false and misleading.
Fashola, who spoke in Abuja on Sunday, condemned the reports, explaining that the China Exim Bank would only disburse money for specific projects such as the Mambila power project after the conclusion of negotiations.
He said: “Nothing is further from the truth than the claim that the loan negotiations have stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilise $600m (equivalent of N219bn) from the 3,050MW hydropower project for a ‘pet project’ not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council.
“There is currently no budgetary provision or cash provision of $600m or the N219bn in any budget of the Federal Government for the Mambila project. Therefore you cannot attempt to divert what does not exist.”
Continuing, the minister said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the China Exim Bank disburse money to specific projects and on conclusion of negotiations, the loan will be devoted to the construction of the Mambila Power Project, which has been on the drawing board for close to 40 years before the advent of the Buhari administration which is now working assiduously to get the project off the ground.”