By George Okoh
Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) has promised to train over 400 youths and provide social amenities for communities in Benue State.
The Managing Director of HYPPADEC, Mr. Abubakar Sadiq, said that 10 youths from each ward would be trained within three and six months and paid stipends, adding that they would provide 37 motorcycles for each ward before the end of the year, including two boreholes each for seven of the local government areas that were covered by the report.
He added that the commission would provide solar streetlights in the communities.
He also lauded the state government for its consistency in remitting 50 percent of its allocation from the federation account, which amounted to over N579 million to the commission.
Director of Program, HYPPADEC, Mr. Muhammed Alkali, said in a report that was presented to the Benue State Government yesterday at a one day stakeholders meeting, which was held at the Government House, decried that only 16 percent of schools in the state are functional with good structures.
Alkali said that the need assessment exercise conducted by the commission in collaboration with its development partners, looked at the mid and long term interventions in various communities in the state.
He said: “We directly went to the communities to gather issues affecting them, identified specific issues of what affects each household, determined responses and generate quality data in terms of figures.
“We discovered a high devastating effect of flooding and erosion. No local government area that is not affected by high flooding and erosion. In fact, Benue has the highest erosion in terms of the depth in the country with gully erosion which stands at 34 percent. This is as a result of the River Benue connection to Cameron River. Majority of communities lost lives, farmlands and many household affected by diseases like cholera, thypoid and hepatitis. Most affected communities for flooding and gully erosion are, Gwer West, Buruku, Makurdi, Agatu while in the area of security Katisna-Ala,” he stated.
Benue State Deputy Governor, Mr. Benson Abounu, commended the establishment of the commission and urged that it should live up to its responsibility in providing amenities to communities in the country.
The Chairman of the HYPPADEC, Mr. Joseph Ityav, assured that the commission would bring a lot of project to the people.