Buhari seeks China’s support on Mambilla power project

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday sought support from the Chinese government for the speedy completion of the Mambilla power project in Taraba state.

In November 2017, the federal government and Chinese contractors signed a N2.1 trillion (about $5.792 billion) contract deal in Abuja to execute the 3050 megawatts (MW) Mambilla hydropower project.

The project was first awarded in 2007 under President Olusegun Obasanjo but the government of late President Umaru Yar’Adua cancelled it.

The president, while commending the Chinese government for its support for the development infrastructure in Nigeria, said his administration was looking at obtaining loans to complete the project.

Buhari said with the reviewed bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and China, majority of citizens from both countries see improvement in their living conditions.

He commended his Chinese counterpart for successfully hosting the summit which brought together African leaders and business entrepreneurs for a “win-win dialogue”.

“The FOCAC summit has provided the platform for a very prosperous future for the two billion Chinese and African citizens. Nigeria and China have come a long way, our journey has being that of mutual respect and support,” he said.

Buhari added that in the last two years, China has supported Nigeria in training of security personnel, agricultural modernization and provision of concessional loans which have impacted on the economy.

“In the past 24 months, the Chinese government has provided humanitarian aide to our conflict areas, scholarships to Nigerian youth, military training and security support to our personnel, agriculture modernization training, and concession army loans to fund critical infrastructural projects,” he said.

“These interventions have positively impacted on millions of Nigerians and will continue to do so for generations to come. Mr. Premier, earlier today, I solicited the support of President Xi on the Mambilla hydro project which remains a key priority to Nigeria.

“Our wish is to fund this project with concessionaire loans from China. I will also take this opportunity to appeal to your good office to support this project. President Xi and I also witnessed the signing of the belt and road initiative agreements by Nigeria which I strongly believe will set the foundation for many centuries and mutually beneficial relationship.”