Senate Passes Northeast Commission Bill

PIC.14.THE SENATE PRESIDENT, BUKOLA SARAKI USING THE GAVEL AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE 8TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN ABUJA  ON TUESDAY (9/6/15).WITH HIM ARE SENATORS DINO MELAIYE (M) AND SANI YERIMA 3014/9/6/2015/CH/BJO/NAN
Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The Senate has passed a bill to establish the North-East Development Commission, NEDC.

The commission, which according to the bill, will be partly funded by 3 percent of Value Added Taxes, VAT, accruable to the Federal Government, will be saddled with the responsibility of reconstructing the North-East region after years of destruction by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Also the senate included Kano and Plateau states as beneficiaries from the commission, saying that the two states had also been heavily affected by terrorism

This followed a protest by Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Kano State governor, now a member of the Senate, who argued that the Kano and Plateau states were several times attacked by the insurgents

The states that will benefit from the NEDC are: Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba.

According to the bill, the commission should be located in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State and funded partly by 3 percent of the federation’s VAT for a period of 10 years.

Other sources of funding include 15 per cent of allocation to the states as well as a 50 per cent deduction of the ecological fund due to the six North Eastern states.



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    However, the passage of the bill and the inclusion of the two new states was strongly protested by Lagos State senators.

    They expressed dissatisfaction that the Senate had turned down a bill for an act to allocate to Lagos State, one percent of the VAT accruable to the federal Government.

    The bill was introduced by Oluremi Tinubu, wife of former Lagos State governor, who argued that since almost 80 percent of VAT in the country was generated from Lagos state, it would not be too much if only one percent was allocated to Lagos.

    The bill was however roundly rejected by other members of the senate, but the Lagos senators had vowed to re-introduce it.

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