The Act establishing HYPADEC was passed into law by the Senate in November 2008, after concurrence by the House of Representatives and assent by President Goodluck Jonathan on August 27, 2010.
Consequent upon this, the sum of N350m was allocated in the 2011 budget as a grant for its takeoff under the ministry of power, but the funds could not be assessed to effect the commission’s takeoff, due to some amendments that needed to be done to the Act.
Efforts by a committee of the secretaries to the governments of the concerned states to assess the N350m provision proved futile.
The bill establishing the HYPADEC vested the commission with the responsibility of managing ecological menace as a result of operations of the hydro dams, and related matters in host communities.
The Act became necessary, because of the varying degrees of negative effect the operational activities of the three hydro-electric dams of Shiroro, Jebba and Kainji, located in Niger and Kwara States, have on the host communities along the flood plains of Rivers Niger and Kaduna, and downstream as far as Lokoja.
However, issues of what percentage of the total revenue generated by any company or authority from the operations of any of the hydro-electric dams should be credited to the commission’s funds, as well as an amendment sought to include Benue State as a member state led to the delayed implementation of the Act.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that a secretariat has been provided for the commission in Minna, Niger State, while the governors of the concerned states have continued to mount pressure over the years, to ensure that the commission becomes a reality and commences operations.
*Juliet Alohan, Leadership