The federal government has proposed N1.6bn for ongoing phased replacement of vehicles and spares N1.6bn for vehicles in the Presidency, while at the same time budgeting N650m as counterpart funding for the Mambilla Power Project in the 2022 budget, and this is presently causing ripples in the economic circles.

According to Daily Trust, the project, which has lingered for years, is among President Muhammadu Buhari signature projects.

In the 2022 budget, the Ministry of Power has a N301bn budget for next year, higher than the N204bn in 2021.

According to the highlights of the 2022 budget presentation by the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, they are part of the selected projects in the budget tagged, ‘Investing for a resilient future: Critical infrastructure and human capital.’

Among the delayed projects, the Mambilla project will gulp N650 million for counterpart funding, way leave consultancy, and survey fees. This is despite over N10bn spent on this project in the last six years without the project taking off.

There is also N430m for the 215MW Kaduna LPFO/gas power station; N20m for the concession of the 40MW Kashimbilla hydropower plant and N450m for its transmission line and consultancy fee; there is N650m for the 10MW katsina wind farm, which has missed several commissioning timelines; and N800m for the Distribution Expansion Programme (DEP), a part of the Siemens Presidential Power deal that is said to have barely produced results, two years after it was initiated.

There are other capital power projects in the ministry’s budget including N1.25bn for rural electrification access programme (Energizing Education) in federal universities; N44bn for Zungeru hydropower expected to be ready this December; Abuja power transmission feeding scheme, transmission access project, among others. The government also pegged N114bn for multilateral loans to the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to complete renewable energy projects nationwide.

Analysis of the 2022 budget appropriation bill shows that the Federal Ministry of Power has a budget of N301.2bn, about N96bn higher than the N204.4bn proposed for 2021 in October last year. Of this, capital expenditure will gulp N294.994bn which is also higher by N96.6bn than the N198.3bn for the present period.

Just like for 2021 when the ministry pegged N6.1bn for salaries and recurrent expenditures, that of 2022 is still the same N6.1bn. Other key power projects include N668.9m for the solar electrification of the ministry’s headquarters (Power House) and other public buildings; and another N600m to complete solar-powered mini-grids across states, among others.

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