The House of Representatives has passed bills seeking to establish a South-East Development Commission and a South-West Development Commission.
Equally passed were bills to establish a North Central Development Commission and a North-West Development Commission.
The SEDC proposal is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the South-East Development Commission to serve as a Catalyst to Develop the Commercial Potentials of the South East, Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation for the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reparation for Houses and Lost Businesses of Victims of the Civil War, and Address any other Environmental or Developmental Challenges; and for Related Matters.’
The SWDC proposal is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish South–West Development Commission charged with Responsibility, among others, to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account, including Donations and Gifts, the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Roads, Houses and other Infrastructural Damages Suffered by the Region and the Need to Tackle the Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental Challenges in the South West States; and for Related Matters.’
The NCDC proposal is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish North Central Development Commission charged with Responsibility among other things to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account for the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Roads, Houses and Other Infrastructural damages suffered by the Region as a result of the effects of the Communal Crisis as well as tackle the Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental Challenges in the North Central States; and for Related Matters.’
The NWDC proposal is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish North–West Development Commission charged with the responsibility, among other things, to receive and Manage Fund from Allocation of the Federation Account and International Donors for the Settlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Roads, Houses and Business Premises Destroyed by Multinational Crisis as well as Tackling Menace of Poverty, Literacy Level, Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental of Challenge in the North West State; and for Related Matters.’
All the six geopolitical zones will now have development commissions, as the Niger Delta Development Commission already exists for the oil-producing states in the South-South and some in the South-East and South-West.
There is also the North-East Development Commission, which was established in the aftermath of Boko Haram insurgency in the geopolitical zone.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, and 80 other lawmakers suspected to be members from Yoruba-speaking states, introduced a bill seeking to establish a South-West Development Commission.
The South-West Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2019 passed the first reading at the plenary on December 11, 2019.
The South-West geopolitical zone has six states, namely Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti.
Later on December 17, 2019, the lawmaker representing Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency of Imo State, Mr Henry Nwawuba, introduced the South-East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2019, which passed the first reading.
The South-East zone has five states, namely Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi.
In the South-South, there are six states, namely Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo and Bayelsa.
Later on December 20, 2019, the South-South Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2019 emerged in the House, sponsored by the lawmaker representing Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency of River State, Mr Awaji-Inombek Abiante.
The SSDC would be established despite the existence of the NDDC.
Though the NDDC covers all the states in the South-South, states in other geopolitical zones are under it, namely Ondo (South-West), Abia and Imo (both in the South-East).
Meanwhile, another member, Mr Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, earlier on December 18, 2019, added to the drama by introducing the Zonal Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2019 which the House has also admitted.