By Obinna Unaeze
The Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) in Niger on Friday held its inaugural governing council meeting.
Mr Joseph Ityav, Chairman of the governing council, Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, Managing Director as well as other members were present at the meeting at the commission’s headquarters in Minna.
Yelwa said that with the inauguration of the board, the challenges that led to its formation would be addressed.
“It is hope that with the establishment of the commission and its formal take-off, it will address the worrisome problems of lack of electricity for the host communities of our hydroelectric dams.
“The commission will also address environmental degradation, poverty due to loss of livelihoods, resettlement issues and revive the economy of the dislocated communities,” he said.
Yelwa said that the commission would ensure that all funds accruing to the six member states of Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara Niger, Plateau and Benue
would be utilised to tackle the menace of ecological and environmental degradation.
He said that the commission would commence operations soon with the staff strength of 70 across the member states and later recruit from other states depending on the decision of the council.
Similarly, Ityav expressed optimism that the commission would start full operations soon.
“My desire is to ensure that the commission kickstart full activities within the shortest possible time,” he said.
Ityav said that the working documents of the HYPPADEC would be the Act establishing the commission and other relevant laws.
The Chairman lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for assembling people with the requisite experience and professional background for effective take off of the commission.
He gave the assurance that the council would succeed on its assignment while imploring members to work hard.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the bill establishing HYPPADEC was first introduced at the two chambers of the National Assembly by late Sen. Dahiru Awaisu in 2005.