45 Years After, FG Moves To Complete Mambilla Electricity Project – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah,

45 years after Nigeria began talks about its take off, precisely in 1972, the federal government yesterday approved 5.792 billion dollars (N1.140trillion) for the construction of the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydro-Power project at Gembu, Taraba State.

The approval was made at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, gave the hint while briefing State House correspondents alongside the minister of Labour and Employment and their Sports counterpart.

He said, “The memorandum from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing was to the award of the Mambilla Hydro-Power plant. I believe that many of you have heard of this project.

“Several efforts had been made to bring it to reality but I’m happy to announce that this government approved the contract today to joint ventures of Chinese Civil and Engineering company for the engineering and turn-key contract, including civil and electro-mechanical works for 5.792 billion dollars. The construction should take about 72 months (6 years)”.

Noting that the scope of work of the project will include the construction of four dams and 700 kilometres of transmission lines, the minister said the project, when completed, will boost the nation’s economy.

He added that it will also unleash the potential that had been reported about Mambilla in the fields of agriculture, tourism and energy.

“It will also help Nigeria strike a very big blow on the climate change issue and fulfill its commitment under the Paris Agreement, because this is going to be renewable energy, coming also at a relatively competitive cost”, he stated.

Fashola said, while the project will be jointly financed by the federal government and the China Export Import (EXIM) Bank, EXIM bank will provide 85 per cent of the cost and the federal government will provide 15 per cent.

On his part, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed that FEC approved Boiler and Pressure Vessel Regulation to ensure industrial safety in the country.

According to him, the approval was in line with international best practices to safeguard lives and property in the industrial sector of the nation’s economy.

Also speaking, Sports Minister, Mr Solomon Dalung, said he presented to FEC the AfroBasket women champions, who after 12 years, won the championship in Mali on Sunday.

He said, “When they were presented to the ministry yesterday, we sought the approval of Mr President which he graciously approved to receive them today and indeed they were received in council and having emerged as champions, they are qualified for the competition in Spain in 2019.

“Although we have athletes who had competed in other sports and had won laurels for the country, we felt it was economical to present the basketball team which was handy on ground in view of the fact that if you look at the component of players, they were mixed with national players and foreign based.

“So, we got the opportunity handy and had received them and for those we have not been able to do, we will still do it at the appropriate time, knowing too well that this government is always committed to receiving and honouring our athletes whenever they make the country proud”.

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FEC approves $5.7 billion for Mambilla power project – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), has approved 5.792 billion dollars (about N1.140 trillion) for the construction of the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydro-Power project at Gembu in Taraba.

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Buhari Expresses Regrets Over Neglect Of Cocoa Sector – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed regrets over the neglect of the cocoa sector over the years, saying his administration will work to reposition it and other non-oil export commodities.

Buhari said this at the First International Cocoa Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment in collaboration with Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Abuja on Monday.

The President, represented by Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the country’s annual production of cocoa declined from 420,000 tonnes in the 60s to 192,000 tonnes in 2015.

He noted that the position of the country had dropped from being the fourth global cocoa producing country to the seventh.

Buhari said that the theme of the conference titled `Cocoa, a strategic Commodity for National Economic Development’, was apt as it was in line with his administration’s agenda to diversify the economy of the country.

He appealed to stakeholders to join hands with the Federal Government to improve the production, packaging and marketing of non-oil export commodities.

“This sector has suffered neglect as a result of over reliance on crude oil.

“Government is working hard to improve the business environment for local and foreign investors as well as encouraging the development of domestic consumption.

“The Federal Government is committed to restoring the agricultural and industrial sector to its prime position and I call on all stakeholders to key into the government policy of promotion of non-oil export as an alternative source of revenue.

“I wish to assure you that the implementation of our reforms of the Ease of Doing Business will be the backbone for the repositioning of the cocoa sub- sector in Nigeria,’’ he said.

In a message, Sen. Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate, called on state governors to make land available to youth farmers to cultivate cocoa.

Saraki, represented by Sen. Yusuf Abdullahi Yusuf (Taraba Central), assured cocoa farmers that the National Assembly would consider legislation aimed at promoting cocoa production in the country.

In his words, Ogbeh said that Federal Government was planning a relaunch of cocoa production in the South-West part of the country.

The minister, who said that Ondo and Cross River States produced 60 per cent of cocoa in the country, appealed to other states to join in the production to promote non-oil export.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said the summit would enable stakeholders to brainstorm with a view to achieving economic diversification and maximum return on investments.

The President, Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), Mr Sayina Riman, said that a five year strategic plan would be formulated at the end of the conference to move the sector forward.

“This sector is apt because we will arrive at a document to upscale Nigeria cocoa production.’’

Dr Jean-Marc Anga, the Executive Director, International Cocoa Organisation, said the organisation would assist the country in the implementation of its action plan on cocoa.

Anga said that research and development was a major driving force toward improving cocoa production in Nigeria.

“We will assist Nigeria to develop a plan on cocoa but emphasis should be on quality and value addition,’’ Anga said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government at the conference declared cocoa as a national drink for citizens of the country.(NAN)


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