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Home News North West Development Commission Bill passes second reading in Senate

North West Development Commission Bill passes second reading in Senate

by Nike
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A Bill to establish North West Development Commission passed second reading at the Senate on Thursday in plenary.

The bill was sponsored by Deputy President of Senate, Sen. Barau Jibrin (Kano North) and co-sponsored by the entire North West senators.

Leading debate on the general principles of the bill, Barau said the bill was passed by the Ninth National Assembly but was not assented to due to its late passage when that administration was winding down.

According to Barau “the bill seeks to provide for the establishment of North West Development Commission to act as a catalyst to develop the arrays of potentials of the North West and address the gap in infrastructural development of the region.

He said the North West as a region has contributed immensely to the overall development of Nigeria in terms of agriculture and other areas of endeavour, but unfortunately the region remained “hugely underdeveloped”.

“What the region requires now from the Federal Government is the support to develop its infrastructure and educate its seeming youths 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.

“The infrastructure of the zone has been immensely destroyed by the activities of the Boko Haram Insurgents, armed Bandits and Kidnappers across the region leading to the exodus of investors, businessmen, managers of companies and employees.

“This destruction is having a major impact on the economy of the region as it has led to severe food shortages and unemployment in a region that has traditionally produced cash and food crops across the Sahel,”he said.

He said some parts of the region currently faces the problem of desertification, saying that the situation have contributed to making agriculture and other economic activities suffer thereby creating more poverty in the zone.

Barau said the Federal Government was in the right position to show concern in the face of the plethora of problems and challenges facing the geo-political zone by creating the North West Development Commission to appropriately address the developmental needs of the zone.

“Nigeria has abundant capacity to beam a sympathetic focus by beginning to address these issues in a more holistic and systematic manner.

“The public works projects to be executed by this commission will engage the youths in a more serious fashion and help to develop the needed human capital so as to curb the current cases of banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities that have created a security situation that is not conducive for growth and development in the region.

” The peaceful co-existence of the Nigerian state will be enhanced with the establishment of this commission”.

Barau listed the functions of the commission, when established to include among others:

“Formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the North West Zone where security shall prevail, rebuild the road, medical, educational, social, agricultural and other infrastructures destroyed in the region by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents and bandits”.

He said the commission would conceive, plan and implement, in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the North West in the on roads, education, health facilities, employment, industrialisation, agriculture, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and commerce.

“Tackle ecological and environmental problems that arise from desertification problems and other related environmental challenges in the zone”.

He said the establishment of the commission would help to address the problem of youths by educating the youths to develop the needed human capital to drive the developmental needs of the region in particular and Nigeria in general.

“The enactment of this bill will help to rebuild the North West zone and shall provide the opportunity for the people of the zone to display their talents and contribute immensely to the development of the country”.

The senators overwhelmingly supported the bill and it passed second reading.

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