The Kainji dam project is located in the northwestern part of Nigeria across the Niger river at Kainji. The project was opened in 1969 and lies in a remote, thinly populated, and very poor part of Nigeria. The dam is 66 meters high and 55 meters long and has produced a man-made lake behind it known as lake Kainji (130 km long and 1300 kilometers square).
The following are contributions of the Kainji dam project to the development of Nigeria:
- The promotion of the tourism sector since the project is a tourist attraction, this leads to the generation of valuable foreign exchange, which is invested in many sectors like education and health
- The diversification of the economy by developing many economic activities in the region such as farming, trade, industries, and increasing national income.
- Promotion of urbanization or development of urban centers such as Yelwa which is a flourishing inland port, Abuja and Ibadan, and hence the development of associated facilities like banks and schools.
- The generation of hydroelectric power for the country (the dam produces over half of the country’s generation capacity) and this increases the standard of living such as through domestic use of power.
- Promotion of industrial sector due to the production of hydroelectric power to run machines in industries and water used as raw material.
- The dam has controlled the flooding of the Niger River since the huge reservoir holds back a lot of water and better-living standards, especially in the delta zone
- A generation of employment opportunities for the people of Nigeria – such as the dam and the developed industrial sector – hence improving the standard of living and increase in income.
- Fishing has been promoted by a man-made lake (lake Kainji) behind the dam, hence increasing people’s income and supplementing the diet of the people.
- The depth of the water in the reservoir has increased navigation (water transport) hence increasing trade activities around the area
- The project has promoted irrigation farming such as the large sugar plantation at Bacita, rice, and vegetables and this has increased food production and income.