President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration remains committed to the realisation of the Mambilla Hydropower Plant project in Taraba State.
The President said this in Beijing during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, where he sought China’s support to build the 3,050 Megawatts hydropower project.
“I told President Xi that the Mambilla Hydropower Plant is Nigeria’s equivalent of China’s Three Gorges Dam, and that I look forward to him joining me for the groundbreaking ceremony in the not-too-distant future,” he was quoted on his Twitter handle.
President Buhari added, “I am fully committed to the realisation of this landmark project. The Mambilla Hydropower Project remains a key priority for our administration.
“Today in Beijing I asked for President Xi‘s support and intervention, for the project. Our hope is to fund it with concessionary loans from China.”
The President told Mr Xi that Nigeria’s submission on the project was being assessed by Chinese agencies and sought his intervention to fast-track the process.
The meeting comes one year after the Nigerian Government approved the construction of Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power plant in the sum of $5.792 billion.
The nod was given at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) held on August 30, 2017, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, had told State House correspondents that the construction of four dams required would take 72 months.
According to him, Nigeria is expected to provide 15 per cent counterpart funding in the joint venture agreement with China.
Meanwhile, President Buhari and Mr Xi met three days after they witnessed the signing of an agreement worth $328m between Nigeria and China for the Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure Backbone Phase II (NICTIB II) project.
The concessional loan agreement between Galaxy Backbone Limited and Huawei Technologies Limited (HUAWEI) was signed by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adesoun, and the Director-General of International Development Agency, Wang Xiaotoa.
Nigeria and China also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR).
The OBOR is an initiative of the Chinese president which focuses on improving the cooperation among multiple countries spread across the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.