By Abdallah el-Kurebe
Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir, the Senator representing Sokoto East senatorial zone has called on Nigerian Federal government to optimise use of the existing mini dams across the country in order to heighten the electricity access of all Nigerians.
The senator, who is also a chartered electrical engineer, told Newsdiaryonline in an exclusive interview that off-grid energy was an area that was worth looking into.
According to him, “I believe that off-grid energy is an area we should be looking at with great zeal. For me, this is what Buhari administration should start with. Everywhere that we have these mini dams, there is the possibility of generating certain amount of megawatts of electricity,” he said.
He expressed that the Goronyo, Bakalori and Jibia mini dams in Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states, respectively could generate electricity that would make every community have access to power without having recourse to national grid.
“In Goronyo dam, we can generate more than 35 megawatts (mw) of electricity and the total requirement of electricity for Sokoto is about 52MW of energy. So, we can generate 35 from the mini dam, all we require from the grid of a mere 17MW.
“The Bakalori mini dam at Talatan Mafara in Zamfara state is much bigger than Goronyo dam and can generate about 45 to 50MW. It means that these mini dams can serve as adequate source of electricity, off-grid.
“Jibia dam in Katsina state too can generate a reasonable amount of electricity without relying on the failed hydro dams,” Gobir stressed.
He opined that what the federal government should do is to ensure that all lakes and dams are assessed to ascertain their capabilities of generating electricity. “I think what the government should do is to ensure that wherever we have a lake or dam; we should assess them and find out their capacity to generate electricity.”
Gobir also suggested the exploration of coal as another source of generating electricity in the country.