By Laleye Dipo
After a long wait caused by administrative and political bottlenecks, the Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission HYPPADEC has finally taken off with the inaugural meeting of the commission taking place in Minna, Niger State capital, Friday.
HYPPADEC was first conceived to address the problems associated with flooding in riverine communities in Niger, Kebbi, Kwara and Kogi States as a result of the construction of the hydro electric dams in these areas especially Niger State.
Plateau and Benue states were later added to the member states by the National Assembly.
The Managing Director of the Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, told the inaugural meeting of the governing council that apart from addressing the ecological problems facing member states, the commission will provide employment for the teeming unemployed youths in the areas adding that it will start with the engagement of 70 key personnel.
Yelwa gave the assurance that all funds provided for the commission will be judiciously utilised, insisting that whatever is due for member states will go to them to enable them address ecological and environmental degradation problems.
“The commission will address the problem of environmental degradation, poverty due to loss of livelihoods, resettlement issues and revive the economy of dislocated communities.
“It is hoped that with the establishment of the commission and its formal take-off, it will address the worrisome problems of lack of electricity for host communities of the nation’s Hydro dams,” he submitted.
The Chairman of the Governing Council of the commission, Mr Joseph Ityav, said the organisation will hit the ground running within the shortest time possible in order to contribute effectively to the revival of member states, adding that the working documents for the organisation will be the HYPPADEC act and other relevant laws.
The bill for the establishment of HYPPADEC was first presented to the National Assembly by late Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta in 2005
it however witnessed several amendments, which saw the bringing into the bill states like Plateau and Benue, that were not originally captured since they were not affected by the Hydro electric dams in Niger and Kwara States.