A bill that seeks to establish the North West Development Commission (NWDC) has scaled second reading at the Senate.
The bill is sponsored by Kano senator, Barau Jibrin. It was introduced in the Senate in November 2019.
The second reading of the bill comes two weeks after the South West Development Commission Bill scaled second reading.
Leading the debate, Mr Jibrin noted that the commission seeks to act as a catalyst to develop the arrays of potentials of the North West as well as address the gap in infrastructural development of the region.
He said the infrastructure in the zone has been ravaged by terrorists, leaving a major impact on the economy of the region as it has led to severe food shortages, as well as unemployment in a region that has traditionally produced cash and food crops.
Some proposed functions of the commission include: to formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the North West Zone where security shall prevail; as well as conceive, plan and implement projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the North West in the field of roads, education, health facilities, employment, industrialisation, agriculture, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and commerce.
Other functions are to identify factors inhibiting the development of the region and assist the member states in the formulation and implementation of policies to ensure sound and efficient management of resources of the North West zone;
It will also tackle ecological and environmental problems that arise from the desertification problems and other related environmental challenges in the zone.
“The enactment of this bill will help to rebuild the North West Zone and shall provide opportunity for the people of the Zone to display their talents and contribute immensely to the development of the country,” he said.
Some lawmakers that supported the bill include Ibikunle Amosun, Ike Ekweremadu and Francis Fadahunsi.
After the deliberations, the bill was read the second time after a voice vote. It was thereafter, referred to the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service matters.
Already in existence is the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the North East Development Commission (NEDC), whose establishment bill received presidential assent in October 2017.
Also introduced to the Senate are bills to establish South East, North Central and North West Development Commissions. The second reading of the other bills is expected on another legislative day.