An agency of Federal Government, Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), on Wednesday, blamed the high fatality recorded in Monday’s boat mishap which occurred in Patigi, Kwara State, on the failure of the victims to use life jackets.
The Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), therefore, called on the relevant Authorities to make pieces of legislation that would make it mandatory for boat passengers across the country to always wear life jackets.
Speaking in Ilorin, Kwara State Capital, Abubakar Yelwa, managing director of HYPPADEC, called for a law to restrain boat operators from operating at night, just as he lamented that the N1.6 billion life jackets which HYPPADEC procured last year for the use of boat passengers were not utilised.
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While inaugurating the flag-off of the 2023 HYPPADEC subsidized fertilisers for 5,795 farmers in Kwara State, Abubakar Yelwa, who was represented by Mahmud Umar, a director in the Agency, said:” The fatality recorded in the unfortunate boat mishap in Patigi on Monday, this week was due to failure of the boat passengers to use life jackets.
“HYPPADEC spent N1.6bn on the procurement of life jackets for boat passengers last year. If the victims had put on the life jackets, the fatality rate would have been very minimal because a life jacket can keep a victim afloat for at least seven hours and help would have come from villagers within that period.
“I want to call on relevant authorities to legislate a law that will make the use of life jackets compulsory for boat passengers and as well restrain the boat operators from operating at night.If the victims had wore life jackets and the accident occurred in the broad day light, the fatality rate would have been very minimal.”
On the flagg off of the distribution of subsidised fertilisers, Yelwa noted that, “ordinary farmers across local communities in the
country have always found it very difficult to get access to
efficient and affordable fertilizer, which is one of the reasons why the agricultural sector has degenerated over the years.
“For this reason, the Commission decided to intervene by making quality fertilizer available to farmers at a cheaper rate. This intervention is not just essential but timely because the rate at which population is rapidly increasing in our local
communities demands that farmers are given unhindered
access to fertilizer in order to keep the production of food
crops at pace with the ongoing population explosion.
“Fertilizer helps increase fertility of soil and makes plants resilient
against harmful plant pathogens, pests and weeds. It also accelerates plant growth. Its significance to agricultural growth can, therefore, not be overemphasized.
“When we started the fertilizer distribution programme last
year, we distributed over 50,000 bags of fertilizers to thousands of beneficiaries across our member states. In each of the over 1,800 communities of the Commission, not less than 30 bags were distributed to ordinary farmers with an astounding 60% discount.”
“This year, the Commission is set out to distribute 42,328 bags of fertilizer (21,118 bags each for NPK and UREA), to not less than 20 beneficiaries in each community of the Commission at the same 60% discount (N10,000 per each bag). For Kwara State, 5,795 bags of the subsidized fertilizer would be sold to famers in the affected
areas of the Commission.”