House of Representatives has approved the establishment of two development commissions for the South East and South West geopolitical zones of the country.
The commissions, which establishment bills were passed by the Green Chamber yesterday, are akin to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and North East Development Commission (NEDC), which were formed to fast-track the development and remediation in the Niger Delta and North Eastern parts of the country battered by years of oil exploitation and insurgency respectively.
While the House adopted the reports of its committees on the commissions for South-East and South-West, the bill seeking to establish the North Central Development Commission was passed for a second reading.
Sponsored by the member representing Barkin Ladi/Riyom Federal Constituency Plateau State, Simon Mwadkwon, the bill charged with responsibility among other things to receive and manage funds from allocation from the Federation Account for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the region as a result of the effects of the communal crisis as well as tackle the ecological problems and any other related environmental or developmental challenges in the North Central states.
Leader of the South West Caucus In the House, Hon Femi Fakeye, who presented the reports on behalf of the chairman, House Committee on Justice, Hon Ozurigbo Ugonna, said the South West Development Commission would be charged with the responsibility to receive and manage funds, from allocation of the Federation Account, including donations and gifts, the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the region, as well as the execution of such other works and functions, which are required for the sustainable development of the South-west states and its people.
The deputy majority whip, Hon Nkeruika Onyejeocha, who spoke on the South East Development Commission, said the proposed commission will serve as a catalyst to develop the commercial potential of the region.
According to her, the commission will manage funds from allocation of the Federation Account for the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and reparation for houses and lost businesses of victims of the civil war as well address any other environmental or developmental challenges in the region.
The bills are expected to pass through the third reading on the next legislative day.
Meanwhile, the lawmakers during the Committee of the Whole adopted the recommendations of its Committee on Defence for the establishment of special financial support for the revamping of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The chairman, House Committee on Defence, Hon Babajimi Benson, said the bill seeks to provide special financial support, training, and modern security equipment for the revamping of the Nigerian Armed Forces.