Abeokuta, Ogun state – Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, says he never approved the award of the controversial $6 billion contract to Sunrise Power and Transmission Ltd regarding the Mambilla Hydropower Project in 2003….CONTINUE READING
Obasanjo said this in an interview excerpt
gathers that the former president challenged Olu Agunloye, the former minister of power and steel, to tell Nigerians where he derived the authority to award the $6 billion contract.
Denying that he authorised Agunloye to commit Nigeria to the $6 billion contract, Obasanjo said no minister under him had the power to approve funds beyond N25 million.
Obasanjo who challenged Agunloye to explain where he got the power and authority to award the contract said he is ready to testify if the current Bola Tinubu-led government sets up a commission of inquiry.
The former president said he was surprised that Agunloye presented a memo for the $6 billion contract despite being advised against it.
He added that he would have sacked the former minister if he had known about it.
Obasanjo also revealed that Leno Adesanya, the promoter of Sunrise Power, fled Nigeria during his presidency.
He said he would have imprisoned him if he had remained in the country.
Agunloye and some officials of the Ministry of Justice reportedly involved in the country have been quizzed.
According toTheCable, the indicted officials may soon be charged to court by the Nigerian government.
Sunrise Power is engaged in two arbitrations with Nigeria at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris, seeking $2.3 billion in compensation for a contract breach and another $400 million as part of a settlement reached in 2020.
Nigeria is contesting these claims, asserting that the contract awarded by Agunloye, who did so shortly before the end of his tenure as power minister in 2003, was done unlawfully.
In 2020, the federal government had tried to resolve the arbitration by offering $200 million in compensation to kickstart the project, but it was reportedly halted due to insufficient funds.
Mambilla hydropower project is a 3.05GW hydroelectric facility
being developed on the Dongo River near Baruf, in Kakara Village of Taraba state, Nigeria.
The project is expected to commence operation in 2030. If executed, Mambilla will be Nigeria’s biggest power plant, producing approximately 4.7 billion kWh of electricity a year.
In the buildup to the 2023 elections, President Bola Tinubu listed the Mambilla Hydropower Project
as one of the projects he aims to focus on….CONTINUE READING
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