Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission functional, 11 years after the promulgation of the Act establishing the commission.
Bello gave the commendation on Wednesday at the Government House, Lokoja, when the Governing Council and management of the commission paid him a courtesy visit.
HYPPADEC is specifically charged with the responsibility of managing the ecological menace to operation of dams and for related matters.
Bello said: “I want to first and foremost appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for giving effect to and by ensuring HYPPADEC takes off smoothly under his leadership.
“Even though HYPADEC has been in existence, it was on paper for 11 years now.”
Bello, who spoke through his Deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, congratulated the chairman of the Governing Council, his members, Managing Director and entire management staff for their nomination, appointment and confirmation.
He added: “Believing that you are the foundation of HYPPADEC for the Nigerian nation, especially Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Niger, Benue and Plateau States, there is no doubt that with this collection of brains, intellect and experience, you will give a sound footing to HYPPADEC for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
He noted that the menace of flooding and how it was affecting the states’ agricultural activities, which is the mainstay of their economies, cannot be overemphasised.
Speaking earlier, Joseph Ityav, Chairman of the Governing Council of HYPPADEC, said the commission was saddled with the responsibility of formulating policies and guidelines for the development of hydroelectric power projects in communities devastated by effects of the location of dams.
Ityav said the commission was also mandated to implement projects and programmes that would improve the living standards of host communities in addition to tackling ecological challenges arising from overflooding of the dams “year in year out”.
He added: “Your Excellency, our visit here is not only just to familiarise with you, but to give you assurances that with the establishment of of this commission, the challenges and most of the difficulties the people of Kogi State who live around where the hydroelectric power dams are located, are solved.”
Also speaking, Abubakar-Sadiq Yelwa, Managing Director, HYPADEC, said the Act establishing the commission was signed into law in October 2010.
Yelwa said: “You can see that from 2010 to January 15, 2021 is a long time.
“Within those 11 years, a lot could have been achieved.
“But we thank God that He has given us people with initiatives, people with high spirits, people whose own people matter to them much like Governor Yahaya Bello.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the HYPPADEC team was also at the Palace of Maigari of Lokoja, Alhaji Muhammadu Kabir Maikarfi III, to intimate the traditional ruler on the activities of the commission.
NAN recalls that President Buhari forwarded to the Senate for confirmation his nominees as Chairman and Members of the Governing Council of HYPPADEC on November 12, 2020.
The Senate confirmed the nominees to the Governing Council in December 2020.
Those confirmed included: Hon Ityav Joseph Tarfa (Benue), Chairman; Mal. Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa (Kebbi), Managing Director; Alhaji Isa Ozi Salami (Kogi), Member; Engr. Taoheed Daud Toyin (Kwara), Member; Hon. Mikail Al-Amin Bamitosahi (Niger), Member.
Others were Dr. Saleh Mohammed Galadima Kanam (Plateau), Member; Engr. Aminu Mohamed Ganda (Sokoto), Member; and Chief Utum Ubi Eteng (Cross River), Member.