The waters from the dam caused massive flooding in various states across Nigeria, killing hundreds of people and displacing hundreds of thousands.
The Director of Dam Services at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Emmanuel Adanu, said the Cameroonian authorities did nothing wrong when they released excess water from Lagdo dam and caused massive flooding in communities along River Benue banks in Nigeria.
Mr. Adanu said this on Tuesday when the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, led a team of Journalists to the site for the construction of a multi-purpose dam at Otukpo, Benue state as part of the National Good Governance Tour being undertaken by the Ministry of Information.
“The Cameroonians did nothing wrong,” he said. “When there is excess water in a dam the safest thing to do is to release it in order to avoid breakage, which is more dangerous.”
Mr. Adanu said Nigeria will do the same thing whenever any of its dams is stressed.
The Director had earlier told the Good Governance team that the Federal Government awarded the contract for the construction of Otukpo dam to SCC Limited in March 2010 at a total cost of 17 billion naira only.
He said so far ten billion naira has been certified, out of which the government paid six billion, 800 thousand naira only.
The director said when the Otukpo dam is completed, it will impound about one hundred million cubic metres of water.
He said the dam is multi-purpose because it will provide water for domestic use and house a hydro power station that will generate 3.3 MW of power sufficient for Otukpo and other surrounding local governments.
“Otukpo dam will also be used for irrigation and fishing purposes,” Mr Adanu said.
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said the construction of the dam in Otukpo is one of the major projects being executed by the Federal government in Benue state.
Mr. Maku called on the contractors to ensure they meet their delivery period in 2014.
He also advised the contractor to desist from unnecessary redesigning of the dam with a view to asking for variation of contract sums, which he opined appeared to be the new vogue for contractors handling government projects.
“One of the problems we face at the Federal Executive Council, FEC, with respect to dam construction is that contractors bring all sort of new designs and you find the job being prolonged for a long period,” Mr. Maku said.