From Gyang Bere, Jos
The Managing Director of Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, has said the Commission will tackle the security and health challenges facing communities hosting electricity producing companies in Nigeria.
Yelwa disclosed this on Saturday during a one-day stakeholder meeting on the dissemination of a report on the outcome of the needs assessment exercise conducted by HYPPADEC and its technical/development partner, held at new Government House Rayfield Jos, Plateau State.
He noted that over 300 youths from Plateau State would be selected and trained in various development skills, with priority given to Bokkos, Bassa and Barkin-Ladi Local Government Areas where hydroelectric dams are sited.
‘The Commission was established to formulate policies and guidelines for the development of hydroelectric power development areas; to conceive plans and implement it in accordance to set rules for the progress of the areas,’ he said.
He explained that the commission is to implement all measures approved to the development of hydroelectric power development areas to tackle insecurity, health challenges and other hardship faced by the people.
Yelwa explained that 1000 motorcycles would be distributed across the six states and Plateau will get 300; 300 youths will also be trained in various skills.
He noted that Plateau State has dams that have been generating electricity to Nigerians since 1929 and noted that the communities have noted benefitted significantly from the companies.
The Programme Director Dr Muhammad Alkali who presented a survey report from the host communities said 11,000 persons were interviewed to ascertain the level of destruction and underdevelopment in the communities.
He explained that the host communities visited in the 6 states are faced with erosion, security and health challenges which have led to illness that perished several lives.
Alkali said 300 youths have been identified for training in various acquisitions to add value to individuals and the affected communities.
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong who was represented by Secretary to Government of Plateau State (SGS), Prof Danladi Atu, said the need assessment has given the Commission an insight on how to intervene in resolving the challenges facing the host communities.
He said that is a lot of mining ponds across Plateau communities due to the activities of hydroelectric power companies.
Governor Lalong noted that the state has earmarked N1 billion as part of efforts to improve the quality of life for Plateau people and to tackle climate change in the state.
Chairmen of the three local government areas of Bassa, Bokkos and Barkin-Ladi, with traditional and community leaders, applauded the gesture extended to them by HYPPADEC with a view to secure and improve the standard of living in the affected areas.