By Meletus EZE
The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, on Wednesday said Federal Government has approved N700 million to complete the Farin Ruwa Hydro power project in Nasarawa state to boost power generation in the country.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Musa Ibrahim said following the end of tour to the Farin Ruwa dam site in Wamba Local Government Area.
Federal Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nasarawa State Government to enable it takeover and complete the dam project.
“As at 2003 to 2004, the project was 65 per cent completed as the state government had purchased all the needed equipment, but unfortunately there was fire outbreak on the project site which destroyed most equipment, some also became obsolete.
“Governor Tanko Almakura had expressed the state government’s inability to complete the project, the ministry made a presentation to President Muhammadu Buhari, he however approved the release of N700 million in the 2018 budget for the takeoff of the project,” he said.
Ibrahim said that the project conceptualised in 2001 with the intention of providing no fewer than 20 megawatts electricity to Nasarawa State, was stalled due to paucity of funds.
He noted that the state government had initially spent N6 billion for the purchase of equipment for the project that had become moribund, to make the project be up and running.
He hinted that the Federal Government might spend additional N10billion for its full completion, noting that the effort was part of Federal Government’s commitment to complete all ongoing and abandoned water projects in the country.
He said that the project, which was initially developed for hydro power generation, would however include water supply and irrigation component, adding that construction of 20km access road to the project had begun.
He said that the ministry had engaged the service of a consultant and had submitted the draft report, saying a bid process had also been announced for contractors to develop the project, adding that a Public Private Partnership approach might be developed to ensure the full optimisation of the dam.
Musa expressed optimism that when the project was completed, it would improve power generation in the country, create employment, increase water supply and boost food security.
He said that when the project was conceived, the estimated hydro power potential of the dam was put at 20 megawatts, saying with improved technology, it may be increased to 24 megawatts.
“We are currently doing a hydrological analysis of the dam to know the amount of water to expect, this will be in partnership with the ministry of power, works and housing and other relevant agencies.’’
The dam, which has a capacity of 73 million cubic meters, will serve no fewer than 10 communities in Nasarawa State.