The Federal Government is awaiting the comprehensive list of those who own the land where the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydropower Plant is located to commence the payment of compensation.
It was gathered in Abuja on Monday that while the Federal Government had made payments for survey works and sensitisation of the affected communities, it had yet to make progress on the project due to the non-payment of compensation.
Officials at the Abuja headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power told our correspondent that the Taraba State Government had yet to send the list of beneficiaries to be compensated several months after the request was made by the Federal Government.
The PUNCH had on March 11 exclusively reported that the Federal Government released N700m to carry out survey works on the project site for the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla Hydropower Plant in Taraba State.
The Federal Ministry of Power said the N700m, which was released to the Taraba State Government, would be used by surveyors to ascertain the actual land area for the project before the commencement of compensation to beneficiaries.
Officials at the FMP told our correspondent on Monday that the payment of compensation to owners of the land where the N2tn power plant is located had yet to begin.
The Special Assistant to the Minister of Power on Media and Communications, Aaron Artimas, said, “You see the problem is that we have done our own part by releasing money for the site survey and sensitisation.
“That is where we stopped because the state government is supposed to assign other tasks to us since land is vested on state governments. So we are waiting for them to submit the list of beneficiaries for compensation so that the exercise will commence.”
The Mambilla power project had dragged on for about four decades without considerable progress in its execution.
In February this year, the Chairman, House Committee on Power, Magaji Aliyu, declared that the over 40-year-old project only existed on reports and papers.
Artimas stated that the Federal Government would fund the compensation of beneficiaries, but also noted that the COVID-19 outbreak had slowed the sequence of events on the project.
He stated, “By our calculation, we would have been paying the compensation by now. However, the report hasn’t come to the ministry yet.
“We are waiting for the Taraba State Government to submit that report so that we can move into the next phase of compensation.”
On whether it was outside the powers of the Federal Government to deploy resources in compiling the list, the official replied in the affirmative.
He said since the Federal Government was acquiring land from Taraba, it was the responsibility of the state to compile the list.