Senate moves to establish North-west commission 24 hours after passing South-east bill

OrderPaperToday – Barely 24 hours after passing a bill to establish the South East Development Commission (SEDC), the Senate has started the process of establishing the North West Development Commission.

The bill to establish the North West Development Commission is sponsored by Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano) and was read for the first time on Thursday.

The bill if eventually passed into law will bring the number of zonal development commissions to four.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was established in 2000 with the mission of facilitating the rapid development of the Niger Delta which had suffered neglect despite its huge crude oil deposits which is the country’s major income earner.

Last year, the North East Development Commission (NEDC) bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari after it was passed by the National Assembly.  The Commission was established for the development of the North East which has been ravaged by insurgency and terrorism.

Just yesterday, the Senate passed the South East Development Commission (SEDC) bill. The commission will be saddled with the responsibility of managing and administering funds received from the federation account for the purpose of harnessing the commercial potential as well as the overall development of the South-East zone of the country.

According to Senator Emmanuel Paulker, the bill was passed in order to “lay to rest the incessant clamour and agitations from various quarters of complaints on marginalisation and decay of the zone and ensure the unity and warmness of this country.”

The merits and demerits of the North-West Development Commission will be debated at a later date during the second reading of the bill.

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