The Federal Government has announced plans to rehabilitate existing dams in the country in other to the provision of electricity through the utilization of existing dams for generation.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Obadiah Ando, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja, said the initiative is targeted at improving the epileptic power supply in the country.
This is coming at the backdrop of previous briefings by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo about the Federal Government activities as they relate to the provision of electricity through the utilization of existing dams for generation.
According to him, "the ministry is focusing on the rehabilitation of existing dams especially the Gurara Phase II; Mambilla Dam and Kashimbilla Dam in Taraba State," adding that "the report of the Mambila Dam is ready for presentation to government."
He pointed out that "the ministry is undertaking a tour of all existing dams to ensure their early completion for commissioning by President Jonathan."
Mr. Ando said government is also committed to the development of water resources and the sustainable management of the ecosystem.
He said Federal Government recently approved the construction of Zungeru Dam Hydro Power Plant in Niger State as part of deliberate effort to bolster power supply in the country. The power plant is expected to generate 32 megawatts of electricity, which would be fed into the national grid.
He disclosed the construction of multipurpose dams for irrigation and water supply, has commenced which according to him, would change and impact positively the lives of the huge population of Nigerians, especially those living in the rural areas, who engage in farming.
He underscored the imperative of urgent completion of all hydro power plants across the country, especially the Gurara Phase II Hydro Power project estimated to generate 30mw.
Dadin-Kowa Hydro Power Plant which is to generate 34mw; the Mambilla and the Kashimbilla power plants expected to come on stream by 2012, would generate between 150 and 200mw to the national grid also needed to be urgently completed.
For instance, he said the completion of Gurara transmission line and other aspects of the project would provide adequate power to facilitate industrial growth as well as boost gas creation.
Ando had earlier told the Vice-President that by August, this year, a number of the dams such as the Owiwi Dam in Ogun State, would be ready for commissioning.
He said the ministry had requested for the variations of some of the contracts by BPP, pointing out that the agency was responding positively to its request.
Ando also stated that ministry "is about signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ministry of power on the utilization of dams for electricity generation."