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After failure at lower chamber, Senate moves for 10-year development plan for S/East

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South East lawmakers are not relenting in their efforts to get some levels of official rebate from the federal government, 50 years after the end of the Nigeria-Biafra war.

There are strong feelings that the bill could come up for the all-important second reading this week.

Only last week, a bill sponsored by one of the House members from the region suffered setback as it was rejected in a controversial voice vote.

However, whereas the sponsors said they will rework the bill and represent it as soon as possible, indications have emerged from the upper chambers that Senators from the region will take up the process of introducing a similar bill but with some modifications.

Otherwise, the planned bill at the Senate will seek for the establishment of a South-East Development Commission (SEDC) which could operate only for 10 years.

Drivers of the bill which investigations showed are working in unison with several other lawmakers from other regions for easy sail include Senators Stella Oduah and Sam Anyanwu and others.

Details from the bill show that the commission could, however, cease to operate after 10 years, following a proposal to that effect by the president and endorsed by the National Assembly.

The bill entitled: “An Act to establish the South-East Development Commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to act as catalyst to develop the commercial potentials of the South-East and other connected matters,” is coming in days after the furore in the House of Representatives, following the rejection of a similar bill by the lower chamber.

Section 1 sighted by Business Hilights national Assembly Correspondent reads in parts “Section 1 of the bill establishes the South-East Development Commission which, it said, shall have its headquarters in Enugu, Enugu State”.

Highlighted roles of the SEDC included release of policies and guidelines for the development of the South-East as well as the conception of plans for development in accordance with set rules, while also producing regulations, programmes and projects for the sustainable development of the region.

According to the sponsors, the SEDC will amongst others set-out road maps for development of roads, education, health facilities, industrialisation, agriculture, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and commerce in the region.


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