July 6, 2021

North-East govs still meeting, as Ishaku makes case for Mambilla hydropower project in supplementary budget

North-East govs still meeting, as Ishaku makes case for Mambilla hydropower project in supplementary budget

Gov Darius Ishaku

By Femi Bolaji, JALINGO

The meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum in Jalingo, Taraba State capital, is still ongoing.

This is just as the state governor, Darius Ishaku, asked the governors to jointly demand budgetary allocation for the Mambilla hydropower project in the 2021 supplementary budget.

Ishaku, who spoke Tuesday at the opening session of the North-East Governors’ Forum meeting in Jalingo, also called for collaboration in the area of agriculture and infrastructure development.

He also challenged the federal government to commence exploration of the oil reserves discovered in the North-East region to increase their revenue profile.

He said: “If we wish to bring national attention to our plights, we must be able to harmonise our thoughts and communicate in unison.

“On this premise, this Forum must be more proactive in ensuring that the multibillion-dollar Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power Project (MHEPP), with a capacity of 3050 megawatts, is fully operational.

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“It can generate half of the present national power output from all existing generation stations combined.

“There is, however, a pressing need to also construct an access road to the dam site, which is located in Barup village, on the Mambilla plateau, in Sardauna Local Government Area of the state.

“The economic benefits of the power project cannot be overemphasised, considering its potential to create hundreds of thousands of skilled and unskilled jobs for Taraba State, the North-East region, and the entire country.

“This is why, as the voice of the North-East, our Forum must vigorously advocate for the commencement of this massive project as soon as possible.

“To this end, the North-East Governors’ Forum needs to meet with the leadership of the National Assembly to press for budgetary provisions to be made in the supplementary appropriation as there is zero allocation in the 2021 Federal Budget.

“As you are all aware, distinguished members of this forum, one of the long-standing difficulties affecting our region is the long-running insurgency that has disrupted our way of life and become a barrier to our developmental efforts.”

Vanguard News Nigeria