By Kasim Sumaina
The Director General of the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), Clement Onyeaso Nze, attributed the country’s constant flooding to an inadequate dam system.
Nze, in an interview with reporters over the Abuja weekend, said 400 dams are not enough for a country like Nigeria, adding that the importance of dams can never be overstated.
He said the floods, which are considered a disaster, could be of great economic importance to the country if properly managed and channeled to the agricultural sector and the establishment of hydropower plants.
Eze said that the water that is supposed to be a blessing is turning into a curse, adding that: as an economic resource, we will continue to do so.
According to him, after each cycle of flooding, “farmers will tell you that the nutrient capacity of the soil has greatly improved and that they have had a bumper harvest. We can convert this flood into economic benefits for our nation.”
The NIHSA boss argued that the country has around 400 dams and that less than 200 of them are what he called “large dams.” There is so much to do with dams. We have enough water for the development of hydroelectric power stations and other economic projects ”.
“We have advised state governments to find a way to build diversion canals on the Niger and Benue rivers, channel the water distance and develop another city there. It cannot only be a way to reduce flooding, but can be used for agriculture and other businesses, ”Eze said.
He advised, however, that clogged drainages and gutters should be cleaned up, river channels dredged, structures in waterways, floodplains and flood roads should be torn down.