The Mambila Dam White Elephant

The Mambila Dam White Elephant
BBC has stirred the hornets nest. Embarrassed by the revelation that nothing is practically on the ground, the ruling APC, through the member representing the Mambila constituency in the National Assembly, has tactically roped in the PDP Taraba State Government. He revealed that over a billion Naira for the survey work has been paid to the state government and it hasn’t done the job.
Over to you, Taraba. How far is the survey? The Federal Government, impliedly, is saying that it can do nothing unless you complete the survey. Our ears are to the ground. Or we will send the BBC. Tam.
But the public is not done with the FGN. The Member told BBC that about N5bn has been paid to consultants in the past six years that he was in the Assembly. As the BBC journalist said, Nigerians would like to know how much has been spent on the project so far over the past two decades, what work was done, by whom and where is it? Granted that Taraba collected a billion, this administration should account for the 4 billion it used. Or we send the BBC there too.
Slowly but surely, in its failure, the Mambila Hydroelectric Dam is proving to be worse than the nearly 50 year Ajaokuta Steel Rolling Mill project, given that at least in the case of the latter, the construction has been completed decades ago; it is just not fully functional, still. For Mambila, not even the survey is ready in 20 years. The disheartening thing is that the last six years has not changed the narrative despite the high ranking of the project on the administration’s priority index.
On his part, Yaya Garba Shehu has hinted that the FG is awaiting the Chinese to bring in their money. If the survey is not completed, a layman like me would ask, how do we know the money that the project will need—a question which any investor would also ask before committing his money? The truth is that Nigerians need to be told more—and more—about the tale of this white elephant, among other tales.
Meanwhile every government in the Northeast has tailored its development plan on the fantasy Mambila project—kirgen dawakan Sarkin Rano, the Hausa would say.
We thank the former Minister Saleh Mamman for being honest with us when he revealed the first true picture of the project and our darling station, the BBC Hausa Service, for latest documentary that got the authorities speaking.
Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
21  September 2021


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