The Federal Government is set to ensure the take-off of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) with a view to addressing the perennial flooding in the country.
Dr Umar Jibrilu-Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi on Saturday.
He said that the commission, when established, would also manage other ecological menace ravaging various communities in the country.
Jibrilu-Gwandu quoted the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as saying this in Argungu during a visit to Kebbi State to sympathise with the people who were recently affected by the flood.
The minister said that Kebbi, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Plateau and some other states had, of recent, been experiencing flooding annually.
He attributed the menace to the flooding of River Niger and the tributaries of the three hydroelectricity dams in Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro, resulting in what he called ‘unquantifiable afflictions’.
Malami noted that the flood had resulted in the loss of lives, property, agricultural produce, land degradation, shelters, farms and environments.
According to the HYPPADEC (Establishment, etc.) 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.
It is also to implement all measures approved for the development of hydroelectric power producing areas by the Federal Government.
It will also tackle ecological problems that arise from overloading of dams in the hydroelectric power producing areas and advise federal and state governments on the prevention and control of floods and environmental hazards.
Malami, while sympathising with the people, the emir and the emirates over the incident, prayed against the reoccurrence of flooding in the area.
NAN reports that the minister, in collaboration with his two NGOs, donated N1.5 million and N1 million to Argungu and Augie communities respectively.
He promised that the NGOs – Kadi Malami Foundation and Khadimiyya for Justice and Development – would directly reach out to the affected communities and offer them humanitarian support and assistance.