From FATIMA IBRAHIM, Gombe
Engr. Abubakar Mu’azu, the Managing Director of Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority says the Dadin-Kowa Dam in Gombe State would generate over N10billion annual revenue to the Federal Government if utilized to its full capacity.
Mu’azu who disclosed this during an inspection visit by Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State on Saturday 30 November 2019 said the dam would fast-track efforts by the Federal Government to diversify the economy of the country from oil.
He stated the dam which had not been utilized since 1987 would have the hydropower component commissioned by the first quarter of 2020 while the irrigation component contract would be awarded by the end of December 2019.
According to him, the irrigation component which will be awarded by the World Bank for a pilot scheme of 30, 000 hectares will boost the agricultural sector especially irrigation farming and fishery.
“This dam, if it performs up to 100 per cent, that’s too full capacity utilization, can generate up to N10billion to the Federal Government as revenue annually; it is key to economic diversification for the country.
“This dam is the fourth largest dam which was impounded in 1987 and the utilization was nearly zero until this year and by the first quarter of 2020, the power aspect will be commissioned.
“While the irrigation component will be awarded by the end of December for a pilot scheme of 30, 000 hectares by World Bank and this 30, 000 is only 10 per cent of the potential.
“If the irrigation component is completed, it can produce up to 200, 000 metric tonnes of grains for Nigeria and up to 20, 000 metric tonnes of fish per annum and also water supply for Gombe State.
According to him, the dam which has been providing raw water supply to Gombe State since 2007, is a multipurpose project for water supply, power, irrigation, tourism, fishery, environmental reclamation, flood control, and river flow regulation.
Mu’azu stated that the dam would benefit Nigerians in terms of adding more electricity to the national grid while the River Basin would generate revenue for the Federal Government.
On his part, Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State while expressing delight over the project which according to him is due for inauguration said the project would impact greatly on the power, water and agricultural sectors.
While commending the Federal Government, Yahaya said the state government would put up an industrial park in order to utilize the available power, adding “ so that we have a cluster of industries that are agriculturally-tied.
“We can add along the value chain to utilize from production to processing and marketing and people should benefit from the presence of this project especially the irrigation project,’’ he said.
He added that the irrigation project would assist in the drive to ensure food security for the nation and empower farmers as the project was expected to enhance irrigation farming.