The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola said negotiations have begun with the Chinese Export Import Bank (EXIM) on financing the 3050 megawatts (mw) Mambilla hydropower project in Taraba State.
The Minister signed the N2 trillion contract for the project last Friday with the three Chinese contractors who said the project would take six years to complete. Chinese EXIM will bring 85 per cent of the funding while Nigeria is expected to raise 15 per cent, government said.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Power Sector Reform Programme (PSRP) media workshop, Fashola said negotiations for the loan will now start through the Minister of Finance with the Chinese EXIM.
He said once the negotiations are completed, he will be consulted and then government can work to flag it off.
Fashola noted that the previous administration didn’t tell Nigerians that there was more to be done after privatisation, ‘four years is not enough for the sector but there is improvement.’
On government’s commitment to the PSRP, the Minister said, “Don’t doubt our commitment to PRSP at all.” The payment of over N60 billion from the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) from the over N90bn verified DisCos power debts, he said.
Noting that signing the Mambilla contract last Friday shows government’s commitment adding that, “There are problems but there is a very clear plan” and working with the World Bank to implement the PSRP.
The Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba said the commission is making regulations to reset the power sector through the PSRP.
Garba said NERC has given the Distribution Companies (DisCos) six months to complete the enumeration of customers and move the figure from the 7.5 million customers captured so far. He said the more customers that are captured, the more potential for the tariff to reduce.
The Commission’s acting boss also said from January 2018, there will be an enforcement to ensure all DisCos have uniform accounts to entrench orderliness in the power sector market.
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