…As Senate passes N/East Dev. Commission
By Ignatius Okorocha
Immediate past President of the Senate, IKE Ekweremadu has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider his earlier decision not to sign the South East Development Commission Bill passed by the Eight National Assembly and give his assent to the Bill for the rapid development of the geopolitical zone.
Ekweremadu who was contributing to the Passage of the North West Development Commission Bill sponsored by Senator Barau Jibrin( Kano North),on Wednesday lamented that whereas the eight National Assembly passed the North East and South East Development Commission Bills and transmitted same to President Buhari for his assent but regrettably,the President gave his assent to North East Development Commission Bill and denied assent to the South East Development Commission Bill.
He challenged the Executive arm to be more proactive and less discriminatory in attending to such bills that would make for rapid development of the six geopolitical zones in the country.
Ekweremadu called on the leadership of the Senate to set aside a day to consider and pass all the pending Bills on development commissions for the remaining four geopolitical zones in the country and transmit same to the President for his assent.
In his lead debate, Senator Jibrin said the establishment of the North West development commission would act as a catalyst to develop the arrays of potentials of the region as well as address the gap in the infrastructural development of the area.
According to him, the region has contributed immensely to the overall development of Nigeria in terms of agriculture and other areas of endevour yet the region remains hugely underdeveloped.
He noted that what the region requires now from the federal government is the support to develop its infrastructure and educate its seeming youths so as to drive the process of developing the zone in its entirety in order to grow at per with the more developed zones in the country.
Jibrin lamented that the zone has the highest population of people among the six geopolitical zones in the country with about 70 percent of the population consisting of the youth.
“The sad fact is that majority of these youths are uneducated in the region that has the highest out of school children in the country. The establishment of this commission shall help to address this problem by educating these youths so as to develop the needed human capital to drive the developmental needs of the region in particular and Nigeria in general.
“The enactment of is bill will help to rebuild the North West zone and provide opportunity for the people of the zone to display their talents and contribute immensely to the development of the country,” he said.
In their contributions to the bill, Senators Kaita Babba Ahmad( Katsina North), Francis Fadahunsi ( Osun East), Ibikunle Amosun( Ogun Central), Kabiru Gaya( Kano South), Ibrahim Gobir( Sokoto East) among other spoke in favour of the bill.
According to the lawmakers the establishment of development commissions in the six geopolitical zones of the country would make for even and rapid development of the country.
When it was put to voice vote, the bill scaled seconding reading.