• Friday, June 14, 2024
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Bill to expand NEDC’s financial provisions, deepens impact passes second reading

Bill to expand NEDC’s financial provisions, deepens impact passes second reading

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed through second reading a Bill which seeks to expand the financial provisions of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to further align the Commission’s Establishment Act 2017 to its mandate.

The Bill is also aimed at deepening the impact of the Commission on the lives of every resident of Member States through strategic capital development across the critical sector of the economy.

These six north-eastern states covered by the Commission include; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.

Sponsored by Mansur Soro (APC, Bauchi) and five others, the proposed legislation is titled: “A Bill for an Act to Amend the North–East Development Commission Act, 2017 to make Provisions for Enhanced Efficiency in the Operations of the North–East Development Commission and Deepen the Impact of the Commission on the Lives of Residents of Member States through Strategic Capital Development Projects and Enhance the critical sources of Revenues due to the Commission.”

The objectives of Bill are to; empower the Commission to adopt innovative financing mechanisms by saving 15% of it’s total annual revenue as “General Reserve Fund” (GRF) with the view to financially sustain it’s operations beyond the 10-years period that part of the critical sources of revenue will last.

“Extend the validity period of sources of revenue due to the Commission by an additional five years. This is to enable the commission to mobilize adequate resources to fully implement its Master- Plan.

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“Deepen the impact of the Commission on the lives of the residents of member- states through the establishment of Development Trust Funds in all the Federal Constituencies of six member states to assist the Commission to accelerate the pace of its interventions and to tackle challenges peculiar to each constituency.

Leading debate on the general principles of the Bill, Soro recalled that NEDC was established in 2017 to, among other mandates, coordinate all interventions toward rebuilding the North East sub-region destroyed by decade-long insurgency.

He said: “In the past four years of its existence, the commission has implemented various humanitarian, reconstruction and resettlement projects in furtherance of it’s mandates. These success stories, however, can be consolidated through improved financing and effective legislation.

“Right Honorable Speaker, Honorable Colleagues, this legislation can’t come at a better time than now that stable peace has substantially returned to the North East as attested to by the closure of various IDP camps throughout and the return of affected Nigerians back to their homes. Now is the best time to rebuild the North East!

“I wish to call on this Honorable House as the initiator of NEDC Act to once again identify with the marginalized and war affected people of the North East by supporting this Bill.

“I wish to further call on the relevant stakeholders; their Excellencies, Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe, the Commission, our traditional and religious leaders to also demonstrate support to this Bill at the public hearing stage.”