Mon, 15 Apr 2024


Reps Deputy Speaker, Kalu hails Senate passage of South East Development Commission Bill
By: Abara Blessing Oluchi
Thu, 22 Feb 2024   ||   Nigeria,

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has expressed gratitude to the Senate for passing the Bill seeking the establishment of South East Development Commission, SEDC.

The proposed legislation sponsored by Kalu was passed by the Senate on Thursday, after considering and adopting its clauses at the Committee of the Whole, chaired by the Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

Recall that the House of Representatives on December 21, 2023, at its Committee of the Whole chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Kalu, unanimously passed the Bill for 3rd reading and sent it to the Senate for concurrence.

Reacting to the development, the Deputy Speaker commended the Senate, saying that the Bill when passed into law and eventually assented by President Bola Ahmed Bola will help to rebuild the South East region badly affected by the civil war.

He noted that the passage of the bill was coming at a time when members of the National Assembly from the south east region led by him are championing an initiative, known as the the Peace in South East Project (PISE-P), a non-political movement using non-kinetic approach to resolving the problems in the region.

Kalu stated that once the bill becomes law and the commission is established, its impact will be felt around the region, in terms of jobs, businesses, infrastructural development among others.

He expressed optimism that President Tinubu will assent to the bill when transmitted to him, urging Nigerians to keep supporting the government.

Kalu said “I’m grateful to my colleagues in the Senate led by the President, Senator Godswill Akpabio for passing through 3rd reading the bill seeking the establishment of South East Development Commission (SEDC), which I sponsored. I am equally grateful to my colleagues in the House who in the first supported and passed the bill recently.

“The commission is very important because when established it will help in the rebuilding of the post war reconstruction that has not been attended to over fifty years.

“The Commission shall conceive, plan and implement, in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the South East States in the field of transportation including roads, health, education, employment, agriculture, industrialization, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications; cause the South East States to be surveyed in order to ascertain measures which are necessary to promote its physical and socio-economic development.”

He added that the commission shall “implement all the measures approved for the development of the South East States by the Federal Government and the member States of the Commission; identify factors inhibiting the development of the South East States and assist the member States in the formulation and implementation of policies to ensure sound and efficient management of the resources of the South East States; assess and report on any project being funded or carried out in the South East States by mineral extracting and mining companies, oil and gas producing companies, and any other company including non-governmental organisations and ensure that funds released for such projects are properly utilized.

“It shall further tackle ecological and environmental problems that arise from the extraction and mining of solid mineral, exploration of oil mineral in the South East 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.”


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