The Senate has initiated a thorough investigation into the transactions related to the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project, covering the period from 1999 to the present. This decision was reached on Thursday following a motion presented by Senator Manu Haruna, representing Taraba Central, emphasizing the urgent need to address the longstanding issues hindering the commencement of the project.

The Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project, with the potential to generate 3,050 megawatts, has long been seen as a cornerstone for Nigeria’s energy infrastructure. However, despite its significant potential, the project has languished due to neglect by successive administrations. In his motion, Senator Haruna highlighted the critical importance of the project, not only for energy generation but also for its potential to reposition the Ajaokuta Steel Complex with an investment of $1.7 billion.

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The Senate’s resolution called for maintaining the original vision of the project, ensuring it retains its capacity to produce 3,000 megawatts of electricity. This move is seen as vital to addressing Nigeria’s energy needs and stimulating economic growth.

As the investigation unfolds, a number of individuals are already facing legal repercussions related to the abandoned project. Among them is former Minister of Power and Steel, Olu Agunloye, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Agunloye is facing seven counts of charges for his role in the fraudulent award of the Mambilla Power Project contract, which amounted to a staggering $6 billion.

In addition to Agunloye, another significant figure, former Minister of Power Sale Mamman, was arrested in May 2023 by officers of the anti-graft commission. Mamman is accused of conspiring with ministry staff responsible for the accounts of the Zungeru and Mambilla Hydro Electric Power projects to divert N22 billion, which they allegedly distributed among themselves.

The Senate’s decision to investigate these transactions marks a significant step towards accountability and transparency in the handling of national projects. The Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project, conceived as a major solution to Nigeria’s power challenges, has been marred by allegations of corruption and mismanagement. By probing these transactions, the Senate aims to uncover the root causes of the delays and ensure that those responsible for any malfeasance are held accountable.

This renewed focus on the Mambilla project underscores the importance of infrastructure development in Nigeria’s broader economic strategy. With the potential to generate substantial amounts of electricity, the successful completion of the project would be a game-changer for the country’s power sector. It would not only provide a reliable source of energy but also stimulate industrial growth, particularly in areas like the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, which has been languishing due to inadequate power supply.

Senator Haruna’s motion has reignited hope that the project will finally receive the attention it deserves. The Senate’s resolution to maintain the original 3,000 megawatts capacity ensures that the project’s full potential is realized. Moreover, the investigation is expected to pave the way for more transparent and efficient management of similar projects in the future.

As the Senate embarks on this investigation, the Nigerian public remains watchful. There is a widespread demand for justice and the efficient utilization of national resources. The outcomes of this probe will be crucial in restoring public confidence in the government’s ability to manage large-scale projects and combat corruption effectively.

In his remarks, Senator Haruna called for a comprehensive approach to reviving the project, emphasizing the need for accountability at all levels of government. He stressed that the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project could significantly contribute to solving Nigeria’s energy crisis, provided it is managed with transparency and integrity.

The Senate’s proactive stance on this issue marks a pivotal moment in the quest for improved infrastructure and governance in Nigeria. By holding those responsible for the delays and mismanagement to account, the Senate is setting a precedent for future projects, ensuring that they are executed efficiently and serve the nation’s best interests. As the investigation proceeds, the focus will be on uncovering the truth, ensuring justice, and paving the way for the successful completion of the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project.