The Senate has mandated its Committee on Legislative Compliance to investigate the delay in takeoff of the Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC) after nine years of its passage into law.
The upper chamber while mandating the committee to probe the utilization of the sum of N612,177,269 appropriated so far to the Commission, directed the panel report back to the Senate within four weeks.
The upper chamber, sequel to the consideration of a motion to that effect, also urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, constitute the Commission and make funds available for it in the 2020 budget.
Sponsor of the motion, Senator Muhammad Enagi Bima (APC, Niger South) noted that the Act that established HYPADEC charged the Commission with the responsibility of managing ecological menace due to operation of dams and other hydroelectric power activities.
According to him, the Act establishing the Commission was passed by the Seventh National Assembly in 2010 and signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The lawmaker lamented that the inability of the Commission to takeoff has exposed communities within the area of operation of hydroelectric dams in Nigeria to serious ecological challenges like flooding, loss of lives, health hazards and loss of farmlands.
Senator Bima recalled that the sums of N354,570,637; N247,500,000 and N10,106,632 were appropriated in 2011, 2014 and 2015 budgets, respectively, for the Commission.
He, however, noted that nothing was allocated in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 budgets, a situation which has “brought enormous hardship on the people of the area.”