…S’East states, ecological fund to fund Commission
Philip Nyam, Abuja
The South East Development Commission proposed for the South East geopolitical zone may operate for only 10 years.
The commission is to be funded by statutory deductions from the monthly allocation to the five South East states and one percent from the Ecological Fund.
The states are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
This is contained in the bill seeking for the establishment of the South East Development Commission.
It will be recalled that the South East Development Commission Bill was first introduced in 2017 but was rejected. In May 2019, it was passed in the Senate and sent to the House for concurrence.
The House eventually passed it through second reading but it was not passed into law before the 8th Assembly elapsed.
The bill is sponsored by 83 members of the House of Representatives, led by the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (APC, Abia), and is titled: “A bill for an act to establish the South East Development Commission to serve as a catalyst to develop the commercial potentials of the south east, receive and manage funds from allocation of the Federation for the rehabilitation, reconstruct and reparation for houses and lost businesses of victims of the civil war and address any other environmental or developmental challenge and for related matters.”
The Commission, whose head office will be in Enugu, may be wound up by the president after 10 years subject to the approval of the National Assembly. This is one of the provisions contained in this version of the bill.
The functions of the Commission shall include formulating policies and guidelines for the development of the South East:
“To conceive, plan and implement, in accordance with set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the south east in the field of roads, education’s, health facilities, employment, industrialisation, agriculture, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and commerce;
“Prepare master plans and schemes designed to promote the physical development of the south east and the estimate of the cost of implementing such master plans and schemes;
“Implement all measures approved for the development of the south east by the Federal Government and other member states of the Commission;
“Identify factors inhibiting the development of the South East and assist the member states in the formulation implementation of policies to ensure sound and efficient management of the resources of the South East”.