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Privatising mini hydro dams critical in addressing Nigeria’s agriculture, power needs—Minister

The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, says privatising mini hydro dams is critical in addressing agriculture and power generation needs of the country.

Suleiman spoke when he appeared on the Forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

According to him, it can improve rural economy by serving as an alternative source of energy for rural electrification.

“Because most of these dams like Bakolori, Jebba and Ikere Gorge can really support the economy around their areas,’’ Adamu said.

The minister, however, blamed the inability to harness the enormous hydro power potential on long period of neglect and poor maintenance culture.

“When our irrigation pumping system was developed in the 1970s and 1980s, diesel was very cheap.

“Now one of the reasons our irrigation system is not efficient is because we cannot sustain the purchase of diesel to run the generators.

“In my ministry, we are looking at converting many of them to solar.

“One painful things is that if you go to Bakolori it has about 5.6 megawatts of hydro power, that hydro power when the system was new used to power the sprinkles system there and the pumps.

“But15 years after that scheme was inaugurated, the hydro power was no longer working because of operational and maintenance issues.

“So we can use them to power irrigation systems; we can power agro processing industries around the irrigation facilities.

“There is so much that can be done,’’ Adamu stressed.

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