By NAOMI SHARANG
ABUJA- The Federal Government has said that water from the Lagbo Dam in Cameroon is not responsible for the flooding that has devastated parts of Nigeria.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, stated this at the 2023 budget defence of the ministry in Abuja on Wednesday.
He cleared the notion that the water resulting in the flooding is from Lagbo Dam, saying that the inflow from the dam to Nigeria is only one per cent.
“Yes the dam releases water; sometimes it releases water without notice and when they do that, it has impact on communities downstream.
“It is not the main reason you have flood in this country.
“The tributaries of river benue are the main cause. And this year, the rains have been unprecedented.
“The trans-boundary water that even comes into this country from Rivers Niger and Benue constitutes only 20 per cent of the fresh water that flows into the country.
“Eighty per cent of the flood is water we are blessed with from the sky falling on Mambila and Jos Plateau.
“Most of this flow is from Nigeria,” he said.
However, the minister said that the Federal Government is not often informed by the Cameroonian Government on the annual release of water from Lagbo Dam.
“It took a lot of effort for us for them to sign an MoU to be informing Nigeria about releases.
“It was signed in 2016. Since then, every year , when the flood season comes it is the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency that calls them to know their level of water.
“We can not blame the flood this year on Cameroon. We can only blame them for violating the terms of the MoU,” he said.
Adamu further said that government would call for a review of the MoU.
On the Dasin Hausa Dam in Adamawa which could serve as a solution to flooding, Adamu said that “whether we are able to do the dam or not, we will continue to have floods on the Rivers Niger and Benue Basins.
“There was a consultant that had been appointed by the previous administration to work on this dam.
“When I came into office, I checked the scope of work and the terms of reference. I was not satisfied that justice will be done to that design.
“You can not build a dam as important and strategic as Dasin Hausa on River Benue without a detailed feasibility and engineering design.
“I disengaged the consultant in 2016. It was one of the 116 projects that we had.”
He, however, expressed optimism that by March 2023, the dam would be completed.
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Bello Mandiya, had urged the ministry to find lasting solution to flooding around the country.(NAN)