By Ibrahim Bello
The Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) has refuted online media reports that it donated N300million as against the actual donation of N3million to the victims of Warrah boat mishap in Kebbi State.
A statement signed by its Head, Media and Public Affairs Alhaji Nura Tanko Wakili, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi on Sunday, noted that the figure was misquoted and bogus.
“Our attention has been drawn to an online publication by some online media, claiming that HYPPADEC, donated N300million to victims of Warrah boat mishap.
“The publication by some online media is bogus and a misrepresentation of facts as the actual figure of the donation is N3million not N300million.
“To put the record straight, HYPPADEC did not issue a statement to such media outfits containing such vague figures capable of creating dissatisfaction in a community already mourning the passing of their loved ones,” it said.
The statement noted that HYPPADEC was not aware of the origin of such claim by the media as an authentic press release issued to and published by the News Agency of Nigeria, contained no such claim.
“We urge Nigerians to disregard such publication by the media as it’s erratic and a misrepresentation of what the commission actually donated.
“We believe the error must not have been deliberate,” it said.
The statement recalled that the HYPPADEC Managing Director (MD), Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq-Yelwa, announced a cash donation of N3million as support to families of the deceased and the survivours still receiving treatment both at home and in hospital.
The HYPPADEC boss who led a delegation from the commission to Wara to commiserate with the people over the mishap that claimed over 100 lives, prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and urged riverine communities to always observe safety measures while crossing the river.
Yelwa said the commission had secured approval of its Governing Council to cut and evacuate tree trunks in some portions of River Niger while consultations were ongoing with National Inland Waterways Authority to crush big rocks responsible for accidents on the waterways.
He said the consultations were part of the commission’s proactive measures to address the incessant boat and canoe accidents in the River Niger.
He conveyed the sympathy of the Chairman of HYPPADEC’s Governing Council, Mr Joseph Terfa Ityav, with the people affected by the mishap.
“This ugly incident is highly devastating, therefore, I want to advocate for a concerted effort to avert future occurrence,” the statement quotes Sadiq-Yelwa as saying. (NAN).