Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu has said that 80 percent of the floods in Nigeria are caused by rainfall and not Cameroon’s Lagdo dam as widely speculated.
On September 20, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the opening of the Lagdo dam will cascade down to Nigeria and cause heavy flooding in 13 states.
But during the ministry’s 2023 budget defense in Abuja on Wednesday, Adamu said the stories on social media attributing the floods to Cameroon are misleading.
“All these stories I’ve been seeing on social media, I just laugh, because they are misleading,” he said.
“The contribution of the Lagdo dam to flooding in this country is only one percent. Sometimes they release the water without notice and when they do that, it has impact on communities downstream.
“But it is not the main reason we have floods in this country — 80 percent of the floods in this country is water that we are blessed with from God from the sky.
“This year’s flood, I can assure you, we cannot blame it on Cameroon to be sincere. We’ll continue to have floods on the river Niger and Benue basins. We signed the MOU with the Cameroonian authorities but since then, every year, it is the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) that calls them ‘what is your level in Lagdo?’
“Even this one when he called them, I was communicating with the DG NIHSA, I said ‘what’s happening in Cameroon?’ He said he has been calling them and they said they have not released any water but they said they will inform us. Finally, they said they will inform us tomorrow, they didn’t inform us, they informed us 24 hours after they had released the water.
“They did the same thing two years ago, I wrote to the minister of foreign affairs and Nigeria had to write a protest letter to the Cameroonian authorities that they did not inform us.
“It was after our rains had gone down, suddenly we saw floods in Adamawa area and we were asking them. For two weeks they were denying that they had opened the reservoir. Of course, it didn’t go to the confluence, it was limited to the areas of Adamawa state and Taraba. Because like I said, the contribution to the flood by Lagdo dam is not so high.”
Meanwhile, the federal government said it will initiate bilateral discussions with Cameroonian authorities in November on the periodic opening of the dam.