‘Contractors Not Responsible For Mambilla Hydro Project Delay’

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Indications have emerged that the poor work progress on the 3,500mw Mambilla Hydro Power Project may not be as a result of the contractor’s inability to handle the project.

The federal government had expressed concern over the progress of work on the 3,500mw Mambilla Hydro Power Project and the 700mw Zungeru Hydro Power being handled by SINO Hydro and CGGC respectively.

The Nigerian government, in a statement by the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku, “asked her Chinese counterpart to attest to the competence and integrity of their companies doing businesses in Nigeria, particularly in the power sector.’’

Ishaku told the Chinese Ambassador, Mr. BengBoqing, in a meeting at the weekend, that “the federal government was not comfortable with the companies and had reasons to doubt the abilities of these companies to successfully handle projects of these magnitude.’’

But sources close to the deal told LEADERSHIP that the competence of the CGGC has never been in doubt but that it was the Nigerian government which failed to meet its part of the deal.

An inside source explained that the project, which is divided into three lots, has been on the drawing board since the 1960s. While Lot 1, which was awarded to CGGC by President Obasanjo in 2007, involves the civil and metrological engineering and has a four years’ delivery timeline, Lots 2 and 3 which involves electromechanical and transmission, respectively, are yet to be awarded.

It was learnt that President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration did not continue the bid process for Lots 2 and 3.

However, the annonymous source noted that the contract was cancelled by the Yar’Adua government when last minute contracts by Obasanjo were all terminated without consulting the contractors.

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