Senate, yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (SEDC) bill sponsored by Senator Sam Anyanwu (PDP Imo East) and supported by 14 other senators from the South Eastern geo-political Zone.
This is just as the senate approved 1% out of the entire Ecological fund in the country to address the reoccurring ecological problems in the zone as provided in Clause 15(2b) of the bill, to fund the proposed commission.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP Bayelsa Central)’s report he presented in the plenary led to the passage of the bill by the Senate.
However, Senator Paulker in the presentation of the report, explained that the bill with a total of 30 clauses would serve as operational legal framework for the Commission when established.
According to him, the envisioned Commission would be in the mode of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and North East Development Commission ( NEDC) , as an intervention agency for development in the South East, particularly in the area of ecological control .
Though the committee in the report made no specification on duration of existence of the Commission but 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.
Senators across party lines and the six geo political zones in their contributions during consideration of the report, threw their weight behind the bill and by extension, the proposed commission .
The Senate Leader in particular, 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.
According to him, 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 .
In his remarks after the passage of the bill, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the session, said the action of the Senate in passing the bill demonstrated that the future is bright for Nigeria.
“ I salute the senate for this laudable action which will go a very long way in further uniting Nigerians and facilitating the required development across the different zones of the country”,he said .
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