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Renewal coming as NASS passes North-East Development Commission Bill

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Apparent official respite is now heading the way of North-Eastern states following the passage of the bill seeking for the establishment of North East Development Commission (NEDC). The bill passed by the Senate when assented by the President, will ride on the national budget to drive the rebuilding of insurgency-ravaged North East region of Nigeria.

The bill passed the third reading yesterday after earlier disagreements over funding sources and headquarters.

Part of the funding will come from the allocation of three per cent of Value Added Tax accrual to the Federal Government in the next 10 years for the rebuilding of the North East through the proposed commission according to the bill so passed by the Senate.

Prior to the unanimous passage, the report on the commission was laid by Murtala Nyako (APC-Adamawa), chairman of the committee on special duties.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his remarks shortly after the passage said, “With this commission, I hope we can collaborate and address humanitarian crisis and challenges in the North East.”

However, the law requires that the Senate will transfer the bill to the House of Representatives for concurrence before forwarding it to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

Then, if it scales the remaining procedural hurdles, the commission will have its headquarters in Borno State, worst hit by Boko Haram terrorism.

Senator Nyako said “I am truly elated at the passing of the NEDC bill today by the 8th Assembly of the Federation,” adding that “Today marks the beginning of a new future for the North East and the vision of its restoration shall now soon be a reality”.

Besides, the Bill did not pass without some tailored arguments. Whereas the Senator representing Lagos West, Senator Olamilekan frowned at 5% vote of VAT which was later cut to 3%, former Governor of Kano State, Senator Kwankwaso called for the inclusion of Kano and Kaduna States in the deal considering the volume of destructions suffered by both states within the period of the insurgency in the core North East.


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