It’s no news that the federal House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a bill seeking to establish the South-East Development Commission.
Although, the rejection of the bill, however, led to a protest from lawmakers from the South-East. But, before the bill was rejected, a motion was earlier moved by the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Bode Ayorinde that the bill should be stepped down.
Abacityblog recalled that the rejected bill which was sponsored by the Minority Whip, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema and 42 others, is for an Act to establish the South East Development Commission charged with the responsibility, among other things. [Bill seeking for development of South-East rejected by House Of Reps]
According to Hon. Onyema, the commission when established would formulate policies and guidelines for the development of states in the South-East, conceive and implement economic development plans in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programs for the sustainable development of the South-East states in the areas of transportation including roads, health, education, employment, agriculture, industrialisation, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunication.
But here are the six key points about the bill, majorly the financial implication of the bill, which according to Hon. Onyema is consist of…
1). “15 per cent of the total monthly statutory allocations due to member states of the commission from the Federation account.
2). “3 per cent of the total budget of any oil producing company operating onshore and offshore in the South-East states including gas processing companies.
3). “3 per cent of the total annual budget of any solid mineral extracting mining company operating in the South-East.
4). “50 percent of monies due to member states of the commission from the ecological fund.
5). “Such monies as may from time to time be granted or lent to or be deposited with the commission by the Federal Government or states government, any other body or institution whether local or foreign.
6). “All monies raised for the purpose of the commission by way of gifts, loans grant in aid, testamentary, disposition or otherwise.”
Above are the six key points that made up of the bill, and before the bill was rejected by a voice vote, some members of the House from the South-East made a contribution.
Hon. Uzoma Abonta in his contribution said that the bill was for the development of the South-East states.
The House minority leader, Hon. Leo Ogor in his own contribution said the bill was a step in right direction, stressing that, “This country need to be restructured. We cannot continue the way we are going.”
Meanwhile, Hon. Sani Abdul, on his part said that the agitation to create the commission was as a result of government’s failure to its citizens, saying that, “We should look at it holistically in order not to have a problem. We are worried; the timing of the bill with the agitation of Biafra is suspicious.”
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