Nigeria: FG, China Bicker Over Mambilla, Zungeru Power Projects
Published in Daily Trust
By Yunus Abdulhamid, 3 September 2012
The Federal Government moved at the weekend to spin off parts of the
Mambilla and Zungeru power projects being handled by two Chinese
companies because of what a minister said were concerns over competence
of the firms involved.
But the Chinese government said any attempt to take away any parts of
the two projects from the companies would amount to a breach of contract
as the firms are competent to do the job.
Mambilla Hydro Power Project, handled by SINO Hydro, is expected to
generate 3500 megawatts of electricity while the Zungeru Hydro Power has
a 700mw capacity, being executed by CGGC. They are among the nation's
long-running power projects that failed to materialise for many years
despite guzzling billions of naira.
At a meeting weekend, Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku,
told the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Beng Boqing, that government
was concerned that the two projects were not moving fast enough because
they were "too large" for the Chinese companies.
A statement by spokesman for the Power Ministry, Greyne Anosike, quoted
the minister as saying the "two projects in particular were too large
that no single company can execute each of them alone and deliver at a
Ishaku said the Federal Government was planning to "pair or subcontract
some parts of the projects so that the objectives for the investment is
realised within the expected time frame."
He said the Federal Government is not comfortable with the companies and
has reasons to doubt their abilities, and asked the Chinese ambassador
to give a guarantee that the two firms could deliver.
Ishaku said Nigeria cancelled the agreement it entered into with CGGC
when it became obvious that a single company could not go it alone and
that the Federal Government had called on CGGC to pair with SINO among
other companies to speed up work on the Mambilla project.
But Ambassador Beng vouched for the competence of the companies, which
he said were as famous in China as they are in Nigeria in hydro power
"Chinese Government appreciates the central role stability in electric
power will portend for Nigeria in her quest to be a leading nation and
emphasised that Chinese expertise in hydro power construction is only
one of the Chinese entities working in various sectors of the Nigeria
economy to consolidate China-Nigeria 40 years of friendship," he said.
"Chinese hydro power companies especially CGGC and SINO are competent,
popular and competitive in China and had played eminent roles in the
industrial development of Nigeria."
He said it was wrong for the country to work out on an agreement without
consulting the other parties.
"Agreement is an agreement and its sanctity involved be sacred," the
Nigeria: Power Projects - FG Seeks Guarantee From China
By Chineme Okafor, 3 September 2012
Published in "This Day"
Abuja ï¿½ The Federal Government at the weekend asked China to attest to
the competence and integrity of two Chinese firms contracted to execute
two power projects in Nigeria.
The government said such a gesture would be necessary in view of the
importance it attached to power projects such as the 3,500 megawatts
Mambilla hydropower project and the 700mw Zungeru hydropower project
being handled by two Chinese firms, SINO Hydro and China Gezhouba Group
Company Ltd (CGGC).
Minister of State for Power, Mr. Darius Ishaku, at a meeting with the
Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Beng Boqing, in Abuja, stated the
concern of the Federal Government on the two companies handling the
"The guarantee became important as a result of the importance the
government places on the two dams in shoring up power supply. These two
projects in particular are too large that no single company can execute
each of them alone and deliver at a stipulated timeline, which is why we
are worried," a statement from the ministry quoted the minister as saying.
The minister added that the government would subcontract some parts of
the project to other contractors to quicken the realisation of the
projects' objectives within the expected period.
According to him, the Federal Government is not comfortable with the
companies and has reasons to doubt their ability to successfully handle
This, he said, had made the Federal Government to direct CGGC to pair
with SINO Hydro to achieve the targets set for the various projects.
Ishaku, while responding to questions from Boqing, explained that
Nigeria cancelled the agreement it entered into with CGGC when it became
obvious that a single company could not execute the project alone and
thus paired CGGC with SINO and other companies to speed up work on the
Mambilla hydropower project.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo had in August chaired a meeting to finalise
the formation of a consortium for Mambilla hydropower project.
The companies include SINO-Hydro and CGGC, while the consulting firms
are being led by TRACTEBEL Engineering-Coyne-et Beller.
In response to the government's demand, Boqing, who vouched for the
integrity of the companies, said they were as famous in China as they
are in Nigeria in areas of hydropower technology.
He said: "The Chinese government appreciates the central role stability
in electric power will portend for Nigeria in her quest to be a leading
nation. Chinese hydropower companies, especially CGGC and SINO, are
competent, popular and competitive in China and had played eminent roles
in the industrial development of Nigeria."
Noting that it was wrong for Nigeria to disregard an agreement it signed
without consulting its partners or other parties, he added: "An
agreement is an agreement and the sanctity involved should be sacred."
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