Emirs in Kebbi State have lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for ensuring the take-off of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) to address plights of riverine communities.
The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar, made the commendation when he received members of Governing Council of HYPPADEC in Birnin Kebbi on Friday.
Bashar, who is also the Chairman, Kebbi State Council of Chiefs, said that their communities have recorded losses in human and material resources from ecological challenges associated with hydroelectric dams.
On his part, the Emir of Yauri, Dr Zayyanu Abdullahi, while receiving menvers of the commission, lamented that Yauri emirate lost a lot of economically viable islands to the construction of Kainji dam without corresponding benefits.
Abdullahi said although the Act establishing the dam spelt out special projects for the affected communities such as Inland port, ring road, dredging of River Niger and small boat industry, among others, none was executed.
The emir also commended Buhari for inaugurating HYPPADEC and urged the governing council to quickly look at these issues to reduce the continued monumental loss of life and property from flood and other ecological challenges.
Earlier, the Chairman of the commission, Mr Joseph Ityav, informed the first class traditional rulers that the commission was aware of most of these challenges, assuring that it will deploy available resources in changing the narratives.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the commission, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq-Yelwa, said the commission would engage relevant stakeholders within the affected communities to address the challenges in line with their peculiarities.
He said that the commission would prioritise issues that require immediate response within the shortest possible time.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that, according to the HYPPADEC (Establishment Act) (No. 87 of 2010), the commission shall, among other things, formulate policies and guidelines for the development of hydroelectric power producing areas.
Others are: to carry out a survey of hydroelectric power producing areas in order to ascertain measures necessary to promote its physical development and prepare schemes designed to promote the physical developments of the hydroelectric power producing areas.
NAN gathered that the commission is also required to implement all measures approved for the development of hydroelectric power producing areas by the Federal Government.
Similarly, the commission would tackle ecological problems that arise from overloading of dams in the hydroelectric power producing areas and advice federal and state governments on the prevention and control of floods and environmental hazards.