Abuja (Sundiata Post) – South East caucus at the red chamber has hailed the senate for the passage of SouthEast Development Commission Bill.
Addressing newsmen shortly after plenary, members of the South East Caucus of the Senate, led by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP-Abia South, thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe urged the President to sign the Bill into law, “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war”.
Sundiata Post recalls that Senate on Wednesday passed the bill for an act establishing the South East Development Commission (SEDC), 2018.
Recall that the bill was sponsored by Senator Sam Anyanwu (PDP Imo East) and supported by 14 other senators from the South Eastern geopolitical Zone, would enhance the zone’s infrastructural development.
The bill which the lawmakers anchored its funding on 1% of Ecological fund in the country will have a life span like the North East Development Commission.
However, the Bill which was first read in the Senate on June 22, 2016, required the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a Bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a Law.
The Passage of the Bill by the Senate, followed consideration of report presented to that effect by Chairman of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP Bayelsa Central ).
Presenting the report, Senator Paulker, explained that the bill with a total of 30 clauses would serve as operational legal framework for the Commission when established, adding that the Commission would have the operational method of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The lawmaker added that the envisioned commission will also operate like the North East Development Commission (NEDC), as intervention agency for development in the South East, particularly in the area of Ecological control.
The Senate at the committee of the whole, amended clause 4 of the Bill to give the Commission 10 years of operational existence after establishment.
The Bill, which was backed by lawmakers across party lines, was considered clause by clause by the Senate at the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers before it was read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his contribution, the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan (APC Yobe North), said the commission when created, will give the South East the required lift to the next level in terms of development, adding, “the Bill when eventually concurred to by the House of Representatives, transmitted to the President for assent, would not only be assented to but the Commission created and funded.”
Meanwhile the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, applauded the lawmakers for a job well done.
He said: “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country. This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress.”