Nigeria to get $5.72 billion loan from China for Mambilla power plant project

Nigeria's minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, says negotiation with the Chinese government to secure loans for the 3, 050 Megawatts Mambilla Power Plant is at an advanced stage.

Speaking at a ceremony marking his third year in office, Fashola said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Mambilla Power Plant project and work on
the Power Plant -which would cost the country US$5.72 billion- will begin in 2019 after facing several setbacks in the past 40 years.

He noted that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to ensuring the urgent commencement of the project and completion within 60 months.

Fashola, speaking on the level of development of the project, said "the progress is that for the first time in over 40 years the federal government has now signed an engineering and procurement contract. President Buhari has made that possible.

"All the companies that were fighting themselves and going to court when we came are out of court. We have a contract, a joint venture; we created that joint venture; we have a contract with them we have signed. FEC has approved the project; it is going to cost $5.72 billion".

Chinese company, CGCC, have been awarded the project which Fashola explained is similar to China's Gorges Dam executed by the same company.

Aside providing the funds, Fashola said: "They have the technology; they have done it before; no need to reinvent the wheel. We will take a loan; we are now trying to negotiate the final tranche of the loan.''

"The Nigerian government is supposed to provide 15 per cent of the total cost of the project as its counterpart funding.

"You don't budget all of the money at once and even if the loan was approved today, you wouldn't draw it all down because it is a minimum of 60 months construction time, assuming that there are no hitches. That is where we are."

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