The federal government said it is committed to ensure early completion of the Kashimbila Multipurpose Dam project in Taraba State.
The facility would provide electricity to the area and support key economic activities. among other services.
Minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola,had visited the Kashimbila Multipurpose Dam in Taraba State to assess the project’s progress.
The multipurpose facility is planned to protect parts of the country from a predicted ecological disaster, provide electricity and support agricultural ventures in surrounding states of the Northeast.
Fashola said the project, which was conceived around 2007, is a proactive step by Nigeria to prevent an ecological disaster that science predicted would happen in the future when the structurally weak volcanic Lake Nyos inevitably collapses, which is likely to affect six states in the country.
The states are said to include Taraba, Benue, Cross River, Delta and Kogi on the route of the tributaries of the Katsina-Ala River.
The minister said: “Nigeria has decided since 2007 or thereabouts to intervene and prevent the disaster by building a dam and from the dam you have water which is a force of energy, we decided to build a 40MW plant to generate electricity to feed communities like Doga, Wukari, Takum, Kashimbila and many other communities in the Northeast and Yandev in Benue state who are not yet connected to the grid.”
According to Fashola, These communities currently have a 33KV line that transmits energy across 80, 90 to 100 and above kilometres, but added that by the time the energy reaches the communities, it is not effective resulting in what is often referred to as a ‘low current.’
The minister regretted that the contracting firm has not been paid for about two or three years, but that the project has recently been included in the budget.
He said: “We have approved payment for the contractor and I have now come to see what we are paying for to ensure that the project is delivered. This project has three phases and three objectives to accomplish.”
“First to prevent an ecological disaster that science predicts will happen and secondly from there provide electricity and support agriculture. This is the Kashimbila 40MW Multipurpose Dam for electricity and irrigation. But as I’ve said it was an ecological necessity,” the minister noted.