No fewer than 350 lives were lost to boat accidents in Nigeria in 2020.
The disclosure was made in Borgu, Niger State, on Saturday by the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission, Joseph Ityav, the News Agency of Nigeria reported
He was speaking at Malale in the Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State at the inauguration of the cutting of tree logs and removal of huge debris from Kainji and Shiroro lakes.
He said the project was being executed in partnership with the National Inland Waterways Corporation.
Ityav blamed most of the accidents on poor conditions of boats, overloading, unavailability of life jackets and the preponderance of tree logs on the waterways.
He said the cutting of the tree logs and removal of debris would reduce boat accidents and the hardship faced by riverine communities.
In his remarks, the Managing Director, HYPPADEC, Alhaji Abubakar Yelwa, said the commission would address ecological and environmental issues and the loss of lives which resulted from the construction of the Kainji and Shiroro dams.
Kainji Dam was constructed on River Niger in 1964 at a reported cost of $209m and was inaugurated in 1968.
Yelwa commended the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and the National Assembly for signing the Act setting up HYPPADEC, which began operations in 2020 to address the challenges of impacted communities.
The Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Abdullahi Sabi, said at the ceremony that HYPPADEC’s projects would help to address challenges faced by communities in the hydropower-generating areas.
Sabi, who represented the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Gabriel Suswan, said that the National Assembly would continue to support HYPPADEC to achieve its objectives.
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