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Nigeria accuses Cameroon of breaching pact on dam water release

The Federal Government says it will take appropriate diplomatic measures on Cameroon’s breach of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that caused flooding in some parts of the country.

Suleiman Adamu
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu

Mr Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, said this in an interview in Abuja on Friday, December 27, 2019.

Adamu said the breach of the MoU by the Cameroonian government was unacceptable as this was not the first time such thing had happened.

“We signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cameroon that, before they open that dam, they will let Nigeria know.

“This MoU was signed in 2016 here in Abuja when the Cameroonian President came on a state visit to President Muhammadu Buhari, it was signed here, I was a witness to that event.

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“Since then, things had been working. But, unfortunately, this year to our greatest surprise we heard that Cameroon actually opened the dam without informing us.

“And when we were told that the dam had been opened, we investigated, we called, we reached out to them and they denied it.

“But eventually when it became obvious, they now accepted that they had opened the dam and they closed it on October 31.

“Now, we will take appropriate measures through diplomatic channels because this is breach of the Memorandum of Understanding.”

Adamu, who did not give the measures to be taken, said the decision by Cameroon to release the water was obviously a breach that must be addressed.

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The minister, however, said that there were plans to build more dams on the tributaries of River Benue to address flooding in the country.

Adamu said that the construction of more dams had huge potentials for the economic development of the country, in the area of hydro power projects, such as the Mabila hydro power project and the Kashimbila dam.

He further said the construction of more dams would help ensure flood control.

“There are so many of these that need to be done. You will also agree with me that investment in the construction of dams is a huge undertaking in the current economic challenges.

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“We have to be moving gradually, we cannot do all at the same time.

“There are huge hydro potentials in dams, if the private sector can partner with the Federal Government on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, in the construction of more dams, it will help in flood control.

“It will also help at the same time to maximize the impact that we can have from those dams to have irrigation system and hydro power,” he said.

By Joan Nwagwu

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