Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said there is no budgetary or cash provision of $600 million (about N219 billion) for the Mambilla power project.
The minister described the media report, which he alleged was authored and sponsored by one Leno Adesanya, as unjustified and malicious.
In a statement signed by his spokesman, Hakeem Bello, the minister noted that fund for the project was never diverted.
“Nothing is further away from the truth than the claim that the loan negotiations have stalled since 2017 because of an attempt to utilise $600 million (equivalent of N219 billion) from the 3,050MW hydropower project for a ‘pet project’ not hitherto considered by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“There is currently no budgetary or cash provision of $600 million or N219 billion in any budget of the federal government for the Mambilla project.
“Therefore, you cannot attempt to divert what does not exist,” Fashola said.
According to him, part the loan from China Exim Bank for specific projects, on conclusion of negotiations, would be devoted to the construction of the Mambilla Power Project, which had been on the drawing board for close to 40 years before the advent of the Buhari administration.
“The latest publication of fictional claims by Mr. Leno Adesanya in a national daily and the social media is the desperate attempt by him and his political sympathisers to destabilise a project that they could not bring to fruition,” Fashola said.