Senate Approves Establishment of North West Development Commission

In a landmark decision aimed at addressing the myriad challenges facing the North West geopolitical zone, the Nigerian Senate on Thursday passed the North West Development Commission (NWDC) bill. This significant legislative action is designed to facilitate the socio-economic development of the seven states within this region, which have been beleaguered by security issues and infrastructural deficits.

Senate Approves Establishment of North West Development Commission
Senate Approves Establishment of North West Development Commission

The NWDC bill was championed by Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I. Jibrin, alongside 20 other senators representing the states within the North West zone. The bill’s passage followed a thorough consideration and adoption of the report presented by the Senate Committee on Special Duties.

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Chairman of the Committee on Special Duties, Senator Shehu Lawan Kaka (APC, Borno Central), spearheaded the motion for the presentation and subsequent adoption of the committee’s report. His motion was seconded by Senator Ireti Kingibe (LP, FCT), signifying a bipartisan support for the initiative.

During the presentation, Senator Kaka outlined the critical objectives of the NWDC, emphasizing its potential to transform the socio-economic landscape of the North West. He highlighted that the bill is meticulously structured to streamline efforts towards the comprehensive development of the region. The establishment of the NWDC, he argued, would effectively bridge the gap between the federal government and the North Western states, thereby fulfilling the long-standing aspirations of the region’s populace.

“The intent and purpose of the bill are well-structured and strategically streamlined for the socio-economic development of the North West geopolitical zone of the country,” Senator Kaka stated. He underscored the necessity of federal intervention to address the specific needs and challenges unique to the North West, urging his colleagues in the Senate to support the bill’s passage.

When the bill was put to a vote by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I. Jibrin, who presided over the plenary session, it received unanimous approval from the senators present. This overwhelming support underscores the collective recognition of the pressing need for a dedicated commission to tackle the region’s challenges.

In his closing remarks, Senator Jibrin expressed profound gratitude to his colleagues for their unwavering support. He emphasized the transformative potential of the NWDC in addressing both immediate and long-term challenges facing the North West, particularly those related to infrastructure and security.

“The North West is the food basket of the country,” Senator Jibrin remarked, highlighting the region’s pivotal role in Nigeria’s agricultural sector. He noted that the establishment of the NWDC is crucial for the restoration and enhancement of infrastructure that has been severely impacted by insurgent activities and banditry. “If we are serious about ensuring we have food and for food security to be attained in this country, we must provide the necessary infrastructure for all our key sectors to thrive.”

Senator Jibrin further detailed the broader implications of the commission’s work, suggesting that its establishment would contribute significantly to national stability and economic resilience. “This commission is needed. I commend you all for supporting this; no one said no. Everybody supported this idea. So, now we are pushing the Bill to the House of Representatives for their approval and then to Mr. President for assent.”

The passage of the NWDC bill represents a concerted effort by the Senate to prioritize regional development and address systemic inequalities that have historically impeded progress in the North West. The proposed commission will focus on a range of development projects, including infrastructure rehabilitation, economic revitalization, and social services enhancement. By addressing these critical areas, the NWDC aims to create a more conducive environment for economic activities and improve the quality of life for residents in the region.

In addition to infrastructural development, the commission will also focus on security measures to combat the persistent threat of insurgency and banditry, which have significantly disrupted daily life and economic activities in the North West. The aim is to restore peace and stability, thereby fostering a safer and more productive environment for the inhabitants of the region.

As the bill advances to the House of Representatives and subsequently to the President for assent, there is a palpable sense of optimism among the senators and the constituents they represent. The establishment of the NWDC is seen as a crucial step towards achieving sustainable development and ensuring that the North West can fully contribute to and benefit from Nigeria’s broader economic growth.

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