The Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, has disclosed that the 40 megawatts Kashimbila multipurpose dam will be inaugurated February next year by President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to her, the Federal Government would maximise opportunities such as potable water supply, agriculture, power, tourism, aviation, transport as well as trade and investment in the Kashimbila dam for the benefit of the host communities and the country in general.
The minister stated this when she and her counterparts in the ministries of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo; Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mr. Edem Duke; and her junior minister, Mr. Muhammed Wakil; inspected the dam in Taraba State.
A statement issued by the ministry on Tuesday, said the dam was a buffer designed to accommodate the poisonous gas and water that may come to Nigeria in case of breakdown of Lake Nyos in Cameroon.
She noted that presently, the dam had generated 40MW of hydro power, 2,000 hectares of land for irrigation, tourism potentials, aviation and transport opportunities, and would provide 60,000 cubic meters of water daily for 400,000 people.
“We are here at Kashimbila with three of my colleagues and we are happy with the level of work we see. As of 2010 the level of completion of this project was just 10 per cent but now you can see that the project is executed to its final stage.
“The President has been driving this project and we are happy that today the project is 95 per cent completed. We have already set in motion the process that will lead to the commissioning of the project in early February 2015.
“We want to maximise every opportunity that is available here. Next time we will come with our colleague from agriculture because of the irrigation component. Staple processing zone will be set up around this neighbourhood and this will not only open up the rural areas but will provide opportunities for further improvement in agriculture”, Mrs. Ochekpe was quoted as saying.
Speaking on the 40MW hydro power from the dam, Prof. Nebo said the Federal Government had approved the contract for the erection of transmission lines that would evacuate the generated electricity.
“The transmission infrastructure that will be put in place here will strengthen the entire Taraba, Benue and Plateau states so that we can have more reliable and stable electricity in these parts of the country”, he said.
In his address, Duke said his team had already developed a master plan to integrate tourism into the project, adding that the facilities on ground in the dam were enough to make the site a tourist destination.