A bill seeking to establish Southeast Development Commission (SEDC) scaled second reading at the Nigerian senate after intense debate mostly by lawmakers from the South-east zone.
The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Stella Adaeze Oduah representing Anambra North Senatorial district was re-presented for consideration after President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent to the bill which was passed in the 8th Senate.
Oduah in her lead debate posited that the development Commission would serve as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the Southeast region.
She further maintained that the region was one of the most undeveloped in terms of infrastructure, noting that the Commission would formulate and implement policies to the advantages of the people in the region.
“A bill for an Act to establish the South East Development Commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to act as a catalyst to develop the commercial potential of the Southeast and other connected matters.”
In his contribution, Senator Rochas Okorocha decried the plight of the Southeast people.
He said Igbo people of the Southeast are true Nigerians who could be found working hard in any part of the country.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill, saying that lawmakers from other zones have supported bills that favoured the north irrespective of their political divides.
Okorocha said that the establishment of the Commission will tackle infrastructural deficit and as well engage the youths in productive ventures in the region.
Other Senators from the Southeast argued in favour of the bills.
Senators from other zones also aligned with the bill, stating that “as long as it was about development” , there was a need for the creation of the Commission.
In his remarks, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan said he supported the bill as the Senate leader in the 8th Senate, adding that the bill will ease development in the region.
He referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Establishment to turn in their report in four weeks time.