Mon, 22 Apr 2024


Senate passes South East development commission bill
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 22 Feb 2024   ||   Nigeria,

The Senate, on Thursday, passed the Bill seeking the establishment of the South East Development Commission.

The commission is to be charged with the responsibility of receiving and managing funds from the Federation Account for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses, and other infrastructural damages suffered by the region as a result of the effects of the civil war.

The Red Chamber took the decision while considering the bill’s clauses at its Committee of the Whole, chaired by the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

The House of Representatives, on December 21, 2023, at its Committee of the Whole, chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, who is also the sponsor of the bill, unanimously passed it for a third reading and sent it to the Senate for concurrence.

The commission, when established, shall, among other functions, “conceive, plan and implement, in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the South East states.

The areas of intervention will include transportation including roads, health, education, employment, agriculture, industrialization, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications.

Other functions include, “tackling ecological and environmental problems that arise from the extraction and mining of solid mineral, exploration of oil mineral in the Southeast states and advise the Federal Government and the member states on the prevention and control of oil spillages, gas flaring and environmental pollution; liaise with the various solid mineral extraction and mining companies and oil and gas prospecting and producing companies on all matters of pollution prevention and control; and execute such other works and perform such other functions which in the opinion of the Commission are required for the sustainable development of the South East States and its peoples.”

In his remarks after the Bill was passed, Akpabio noted that once the Bill becomes law, it will bring development and the region’s fears will be addressed.

Akpabio said, “It’s a very important bill passed by this 10th Senate. This bill addresses all the fears of our brothers and sisters from the South East. I want to say congratulations.

“I pray this commission will bring a lot of development to the South East and we will assist you to stop any form of agitation and bring peace to your region. When harmonised, it will address the fears of the southeast.”

With the passage at both chambers, a conference committee will be set up to harmonise differences before it will be transmitted to the President for his assent.

The Senate had on Wednesday, passed for second reading, bills seeking for the establishment of the South West Development Commission and North Central Development Commission.

Senator Gbenga Daniel in his lead debate for the South West Development Commission Bill, said the commission would be charged with responsibilities among others, to receive and manage funds from the Federation Account, including donations and gifts, for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructural damages suffered by the region and to tackle ecological, environmental and other developmental challenges and for related matters.

Senator Abba Moro, in his presentation, said the proposed North Central Development Commission will catalyse the development of the array of potentials of the North Central as well as address the gap in the infrastructural development of the region and related matters.



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