The Federal Government Wednesday said it has earmarked eight hydropower dams for concession in order to improve power generation.
The hydropower dams, the government said, will be handed over to the unnamed firms soon. Assistant Director, Hydropower in the office of Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Abubakar Aliyu, disclosed this when officials from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources carried out a familiarization tour to Bakolori Irrigation Scheme in Talata Mafara, Zamfara State.
Aliyu said the ministry of power, works and housing was partnering with Federal Ministry of Water Resources to increase power generation in the country.
“Eight hydropower dams have been earmarked to be concessioner on power generation. It will take effect soon,” he said.
Earlier, Project Coordinator, Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING), Mr. Peter Manjuk, said about six states will benefit from the irrigation project.
The states include Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa and Gombe.
He said the project is targeted at rehabilitating all existing dams to make them meet irrigation and hydropower needs of the country.
Manjuk noted that Nigeria must get it right if it hopes to meet the demands of food production and food security.
He stated that despite huge investments on dams and irrigation in the country by the government, Nigeria had not achieved any meaningful socio-economic impact, adding that there was need for deliberate efforts to meet this target.
He stressed the need for farmers to take ownership of all irrigation projects to enable them boost food production at its optimum level.
The project coordinator said the World Bank sponsored project has begun rehabilitation of the Bakolori irrigation scheme, adding that it would be completed within three years.
Project Manager of Bakolori Irrigation Scheme, Alhaji Lawal Maidoki, said since 1983 that the dam was created, it had been providing domestic water supply to Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states.
Maidoki said there was need for investors to come in to rehabilitate the dam towards improving food production, flood control and power generation.
He said the dam was faced with low workforce, due to retirement, and infrastructure vandalisation, calling for improved security to reverse this trend.
Maidoki added that with the TRIMING project, farmers would put in their best to increase food production.
Federal Government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Songhai Farms Limited in Porto Novo to reposition the River Basins across the country.
Part of the provision is the introduction of the Graduate and youth empowerment scheme to boost food security.