Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has directed delegates representing the state at the ongoing National Conference to push for the full implementation of the Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), the bill that President Goodluck Jonathan has since signed into law.
According to Aliyu, who said this at an enlarged stakeholders meeting in Minna yesterday, advised the delegates to lobby their colleagues for the full execution of the provision of the bill, which is the solution to the perennial problem being faced by people in the riverine areas and flood plains of the three Hydro Electric Dams situated at Jebba, Kainji and Shiroro with another one under construction in Zungeru all in the state.
The stakeholders also resolved that the state should also ask for necessary compensation from the relevant authorities for the power being generated from these dams.
In addition, the governor said the state is of the opinion that power generation and distribution should be decentralised, adding that it was morally and financially wrong for states or private investors to construct power plants, generate and distribute electricity only for such organisations to plough such generated power to the national grid.
Aliyu also said the “current onshore, offshore dichotomy should be renegotiated to the extent that states would be allowed to harness their natural resources. Niger State and the entire northern states should also canvass to make land a valuable resource.”
On the call for state police, the delegates were asked to support any move that would lead to the devolution of authority to governors for the maintenance of law and order in the state, while modern policing should be put in place.
“The structure of the police should be decentralised in such a way that the state governors are given certain powers to give directive to state Commissioners of Police to address crime rates and ensure effective policing,” he added. The stakeholders however, unanimously agreed that ‘the police should be federally controlled.
The delegates were asked to canvass for devolution of power, emphasising his solidarity empowering the states to fund primary and secondary education, primary healthcare and agriculture.
The stakeholders also asked the delegates to ask for the institution of a Horizontal Revenue Allocation Formula, which will see all states getting equal amount of 36 per cent of whatever accrued to the federation account, population of states and local governments should also get 30 per cent, population density, two per cent, land mass 20 and terrain five per cent.
Other recommendation in this aspect include revenue generation effort of four per cent, social development factor like school enrolment, hospital beds portable water supply and rural roads which should be allocated one per cent of money in the federation account.