© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Senator proposes creation of Northwest Dev. Commission
JIBRIN Barau, the senator representing Kano North district, has sponsored a bill seeking to establish the North West Development Commission to fast-track progress in the region.
The bill’s first reading on Thursday is coming 18 years after the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was established, 14 months after President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the creation of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), and a day after the Senate passed a bill to establish the South East Development Commission.
The new legislative instrument will be bringing the number of regional development commissions to four if it scales through.
“The first business of the day is the presentation of the bill standing in the name of senator Jibrin Barau for the North West Development Commission (Establishment etc.) Bill 2018,” Senate leader Ahmed Lawan said while introducing the bill. He chuckled as a number of other lawmakers joined him.
Presiding over the sitting was Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy President of the Senate.
The NDDC was created to bring an end to insurgency and militancy in the Niger Delta and the NEDC was established to respond to the humanitarian crisis resulting from terrorist activities among other violent clashes, but the background to the new bill is not immediately clear.
Upon studying the first three instruments that passed through the legislature, it was discovered that the last two were modeled after the NDDC (Establishment etc.) Act, 2000. The only major change is the names of the commission’s member-states. All other sections, including one guiding financial provisions, are largely the same.
As his phone number was switched off at the time of this report, The ICIR could not reach Barau to confirm the content of the bill and why he believes the North West also requires intervention in the form of a development commission.
The newly introduced bill by the senator is not yet uploaded on the National Assembly website.