Newly appointed minister from Taraba State, Muazu Jaji Sambo, has said he knows the problem associated with the gigantic Mambila Power Project and can fix it in one year.
The project, which was initiated during the First Republic, has defied all efforts by the federal government to execute it and generate electricity into the national grid.
Former minister of power, Mamman Sale, who hails from Taraba State, was purportedly sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari for failing to execute the Mambila project.
While fielding questions from senators during his screening yesterday at the National Assembly, Sambo, who was confirmed by the Senate, said he knows the problem associated with the Mambila power project, adding that he can fix it in one year.
“I know where the problem is and I can fix it in one year,” Sambo said of the Mambila power project.
“If I am given the opportunity to serve through the confirmation of my nomination, I will make a difference within one year. As a Tarabian and as a Nigerian, I share the sentiment with the lack of progress we have witnessed in the Mambila power project.
“It is a project that was conceptualized from the First Republic. And if in 2021, we are still talking about it not taking off, it is a very sad day for Nigeria. I am aware the major constraint has been the arbitration case in Paris,” Sambo said.
On the problems associated with building collapse in Nigeria, Sambo, who said the incidences are numerous, said the use of substandard or defective materials from clients or building owners who want to cut corners and make profit and the use of quacks are majorly the cause of building collapse in the country.
To address them, Sambo said subsoil investigation especially in Lagos and other areas below sea level should always be conducted to determine the nature of the soil.
Sambo, who said many people do not conform to building codes, added that housing deficit is on the rise in the country.
The minister, who said Buhari’s administration has done well in the housing sector, said they should look inward to pull resources available in insurance companies, pension funds and synergize with the Federal Mortgage Bank to ensure citizens have access to land, insisting that the private sector has a key role to play.
Earlier, the Senate deputy minority leader, Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) said he had associated with the family of the nominee. He added that he should be given an expeditious clearance since Taraba don’t have a representative in the cabinet.
Also speaking, Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo) said he was disappointed with the former minister of power adding that he did not do enough on power projects.
Senator Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe) who said he knows the nominee said Sambo is competent and can perform in any ministry given to him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Mambila power project is very dear to all Nigerians. Up to the time the other minister left, nothing has been done on it. We want Mambila power project jinx to be broken,” Goje said.
Also, Sen Shuaibu Lau who is representing the newly confirmed minister at the red chamber said he is convinced that Sambo, who is someone who has travelled across Nigeria, should be posted to the ministry of power by the president.
Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu (APC Abia) said when Sambo was in Allied Bank, himself and Abubakar Kyari were his bankers adding that the nominee should take a bow and go.
Also, Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba) said the nominee has proven himself and urged the Senate to ask the Senate president to allow the nominee to take a bow and go.
The Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, then asked the nominee to take a bow and go and the Senate confirmed Sambo as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
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