From Joe Effiong, Uyo
The Managing Director, Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, has expressed concerns over limited funding in the quest to deliver its mandate of addressing ecological challenges and promoting socio-economic development of communities affected by the operations of Hydroelectric dams.
The communities he said are in the six states of Niger, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Benue and Plateau.
Yelwa who said this at the opening af a five-day Governing Council and Management Retreat for the Teview of Strategic Plan of the Commission, held at Ibom Icon Hotel & Resort, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, said the challenges of those communities were enormous and multidimensional, while the resources to face the challenges head-on are very limited.
He said that has made it mandatory for the Management Committee to act consciously in taking decisions that would improve the living standard of communities in the areas of operation.
The HYPPADEC boss said, “Let me specifically acknowledge the forthrightness of the Governing Council in providing guidance and clear direction for the Commission to operate in line with its mission and vision.
“Sometimes last year we met in Port Harcourt to develop a strategic plan, expected to help us prepare and proactively work in addressing issues in the affected communities. Our desire for doing that was to ensure a sustainable, efficient and effective output.
“I am glad to report that, within the last one year, we have recorded feats that are gradually changing the narratives of the living conditions of communities in the HYPPADEC States despite our challenges.
“The feats cut across safety in maritime transportation, security, education, health, agriculture, erosion control, empowerment and social support packages. water projects, and youth empowerment.”
Yelwa said the performance of HYPPADEC is largely supported by partnership with the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission which has brought its experience to bare in laying a solid foundation for commission through the strategic engagement that led to the development of a strategic plan and has attracted accolades from a wide range of stakeholders including communities affected by their operations.
The Chairman Governing Council of The Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, Joseph Terfa Ityav, in his remarks enjoined all members of HYPPADEC to make good use of the retreat to examine work and develop new ideas.
“It is a suitable time to discuss issues that bother us all. And of course, we are deepening our understanding of the functions of the Commission. This is another moment for us to reflect on the last accounting year, share experiences,ideas and foster a better working relationship.
“Let us put all our energies together and better ourselves.
“In the past one year, we have made improvements in different areas. It is my belief that we can even make more progress,” Ityav said; adding that the Retreat had brought together members of the Governing Council, Management staff and resource persons where new ideas where would be created.
He said the retreat had also offered a platform to discuss complex issues pertinent to the Commission which would require transformative reflection as well as exchange views on pressing concerns affecting work and strengthen relationships.