*Assigns negotiation with ASUU to Osinbajo
* As Buhari gives N1m each to D’Tigress players
By Lawrence Olaoye
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the award of a $ 5.792 billion Mambila power project contract to a joint venture with a Chinese company for the engineering contract, including civil and electromechanical works.
This is just as it assigned the task of negotiation with the leadership of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Botched negotiations with the lecturers had earlier been undertaken by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.
On the Mambilla power project, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said his memorandum was approved by the Council.
He said “The memorandum from the ministry of power works and Housing is for the Mambilla hydro electric power plant. Nigeria started talking about it since 1972,which is about 45 years ago. Several efforts have been made to bring it to reality but I am happy to announce to you that this government approved the award of the contract today to a joint venture with a Chinese civil engineering company for the engineering contract including civil and electromechanical works for 5.792 billion dollars.”
According to him, “The construction should take about 72 months, which is roughly about six years.The scope of works are very extensive, it requires the construction of 4 dams: one of them is a 150 metres in height , intermediate two are 70 metres in height and the smallest of them is 50 metres in height. Just for concept and scope. The 150 metres one is essentially the size of a 50 story building, because you have approximately 3 metres per floor . The intermediate one is roughly 20 something story building. It also include 700 kilometre of transmission line..
“It will be in Taraba State, in the area called Gengu. It will involve a lot of preparatory work, resettlement. It will really unleash the potential that have been reported about Mambilla, agric, tourism and also for 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.”
“The project is designed to deliver 3,050 megawatt of power and the productive output will be a function of water supply, because that is the major source of fuel, it’s a hydroplane,” Fashola explained.
The funding of the project, he added, will be coming from the Chinese Export-Import (EXIM) Bank which is expected to contribute 85 percent of the cost while the Nigerian government is expected to contribute the remaining 15 percent as counterpart funding.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly FEC, Ngige said the Council resolved to assign the negotiation task to the Vice President in order to hasten the resolution of the ongoing strike action by the lecturers.
The Labour minister, who empathize with students and their parents mostly affected by the strike, said “Government is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that we reach a conclusive agreement with ASUU so that they can go back to the class room.
“This is the first national strike that this government is facing and we want to discuss. At council today, the Vice President has taken over some of the aspects of the negotiations and discussions.
“So, we are continuing the meeting in his office and when we finish meeting, we will get back to ASUU for another round of meeting and we are hopeful that we will be able to go to an appreciable extent to solve some of the outstanding issues that is preventing them from going back to work.”
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