ABUJA – The Federal Government has said that it has completed 13 dams across the country that will provide jobs for no fewer than 233, 381 Nigerians and boost dry season farming.
The Director, Dams and Reservoir Operations, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr Reginald Ikpeawujo, made this disclosure in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
He explained that the 13 dams, when operational, will provide jobs for no fewer than 233, 381 Nigerians, adding that they would be inaugurated in March by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Reports state that the dams are; Kashimbilla Dam in Taraba, Gurara Hydropower in Kaduna, Inyishi Dam in Imo, llesha Dam in Osun, Gimi and Galma Dam in Kaduna, and Ibiono Dam in Akwa-Ibom.
Others are; Sulma, Mashi and Dutsi Dam in Katsina, Mgbowo Dam in Enugu, Owena Dam in Ondo, and Amauzari Dam in Imo.
Ikpeawujo said the total amount of water impounded by the dams is 34 billion cubic meters, saying this would help in boosting food security through dry season farming.
He said the importance of these dams cannot be over-emphasised, as it would also boost socio-economic activities in the country to better the lives of Nigerians.
Speaking on the Kashimbilla Dam and Hydropower project in Taraba, Ikpeawujo said it was the largest of all the dams with the capacity to produce 40 Megawatts.
He said it took eight years for the dam to be completed, adding that it will boost eco-tourism to the benefit of all Nigerians.
According to him, the dam, when completed, is expected to provide irrigation for 2,000 hectares of land and water for about 40,000 people.
“Kashimbilla dam and the other 12 dams are ready for inauguration; it is 100 per cent completed.
“It is to serve as a buffer dam, a multipurpose dam, because the water resources potential of that dam is very enormous,” he said.
He said the hydroelectric power project would augment the national power grid by 40 megawatts thereby contributing to the production of clean energy.
Speaking on other uses of the dam, Ikpeawuojo said efforts were ongoing to make the dam an ecotourism site, adding that there was a functional airstrip already on ground.
He said the airstrip in Kashimbilla would ensure emergency evacuation of people, in case Lake Nyos breaks, saying this was due to the remote nature of the area.
“The FG is single handedly financing this project, it has spent over one billion US dollar, it is a very huge project and it is completed, so this is highly commendable,” he said.