Alhaji Sadiq Yelwa, Managing Director, Hydroelectric Power Producing Area development Commission (HYPPADEC), has said that criticism was a wake-up call to do more for the people.
In an interview on Friday in Minna, Yelwa said that critics of the commission in public interest are seen as partners in progress and not as detractors.
The HYPPADEC is charged with the responsibility of formulating policies and guidelines for the development of Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas.
It is also to manage ecological menace due to operations of dams and other Hydroelectric power activities in the areas.
‘’We are not deterred by the publication against the commission. Sometimes negative publications are meant to check on you and to improve on your quality of service delivery.
‘’If a publication made against you is false, then you study the key points of that allegation and guard against them. And if they are true, you make sure you stop them.
‘’So, such negative publications do not affect our performance.
‘’We see all criticism as a way of telling us to do better and we are quite grateful for such interest in our activities of serving the generality of Nigerians,’’ he said.
Yelwa said that with the little time the commission started operations, it has empowered its staff to serve as agents of development and continuity.
‘’They are our partners for programmes and project delivery. Whatever success we want to achieve, we can only do that through them. That is why when we came, we provided them ample opportunities for training to assess their capacity.
‘’To improve on that, we gave every department the opportunity to have its staff better trained so that they become better than they came. We also looked at their welfare. We made sure that we pay them a good remuneration.
‘’We don’t have the best in the industry, but we are sure we don’t have the worse. We gave a remuneration package that will give them the capacity to perform well,’’ he said.
Yelwa said that the members of staff are the backbone of the commission and would continue to receive priority by the management.
On people that are trained by the commission, he said that no fewer than 5,000 youths have benefitted from its empowerment programmes across the six states.
The states that fall in the jurisdiction of HYPPADEC are Niger Kebbi, Benue, Plateau, Kogi and Kwara; although Taraba, Gombe and Kaduna are on the drawing board.
Yelwa said that the commission carried out a Youth Transformation programme that enabled them to fend for themselves and become employers of labour.
He added that the skill given where those identified by the beneficiaries in order to avoid impacting knowledge not relevant to their needs.
‘’Some of the 5,000 beneficiaries were coming with their friends and relative to get the trainings and these are not in the proposal; but it’s a good development.
‘’Those that benefitted from these skill training, we are planning that by next, we will commence the next step because of the success recorded. By the end of 2025, we will have over 30,000 beneficiaries of our programme that are self-employed.
‘’We are also talking with financial institutions to support them with loans at zero interest rates or interest rates that the commission can even shoulder by itself,‘’ he said.
Yelwa called on community under HYPPADEC to continue to guard jealously all interventions provided by the commission so that it would benefit them for a long time.
He also urged the electricity generating companies, GENCOs, to continue to fulfil their obligations to their host communities, adding that this should be part of their Corporate Social responsibilities.