When Engr. Saleh Mamman was named as the ministerial nominee from Taraba state and subsequently got deployed to the Ministry of Power as substantive Minister, he had no inkling in his mind that the job at hand is going to be an easy one, or simply put, a walk in the garden.
As such, he made up his mind to methodically clean up the Augean stables that have continuously served as stumbling blocks to the nation’s energy sector development.
As highlighted by experts in the energy sector, Nigeria is endowed with large gas, oil, hydro and solar resources. Although it already has the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts (MW) of electricity from its existing plants, its however only able to generate about 4,000 MW; which is grossly insufficient for its large population.
Engr. Mamman, in his bid to harness Nigeria’s resources in the power sector shortly after assuming office, made deliberate attempts at meeting relevant stakeholders in the sector, as well as trying to harmonize the relevant institutional frameworks necessary for streamlining the progress in the power sector.
But, as usual in the Nigerian context, they say when you fight corruption, corruption fights back. The Minister has recently come under sustained media attacks, sponsored by some forces who do not mean well for Nigeria and its progress in the power sector.
This group of “cabals” has continued to come up with conspiracy theories in order to rubbish the efforts of the minister in a desperate plot to give a dog a bad name so as to hang it, all in a bid to ease out the minister out of powerhouse, though they have consistently failed.
There has been a notable development in the sector since the minister assumed office, prominent among which is the completion of the Dadin Kowa Hydro Power sector which has been stalled for over 40 years as well as the conclusion of works on the Kashimbilla Hydro Power project, all awaiting presidential commissioning.
On the Mambilla Hydro Power Project, the minister in a recent interview clearly stated that there is nothing on site to suggest the project has actually begun, upon his assumption of office and in collaboration with the government of Taraba state.
However, the site for the commencement of work has been allocated by the government, a survey on the site has also started.
Also, the Ministerial Taskforce on power, constituted by the minister under the chairmanship of Prof. Abubakar Sani Sambo with a clear mandate to improve the power output in the short and long term has begun work, all in a bid to hasten up reforms and improvements to the nation’s electricity generation.
Public servants like Engr. Saleh Mamman, who is striving to right the wrongs in the power sector deserves commendation, not condemnation, as such it is incumbent on Nigerians to rise and support them.