Lawan canvasses proper planning to check multiplicity of development agencies
State police bill scales second reading in Senate
Worried about the moves by the six geopolitical zones to individually have their areas urbanised through development commissions, Senate President Ahmad Lawan has charged the Federal Government to address the challenge through a structured national planning.
Besides the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the North East Development Commissions that have been established, bills for the establishment of similar interventionist agencies in the other four regions have scaled second readings in the Senate.
Just last week, the bill for South West Development Commission scaled second reading, that of North West passed same hurdle on Wednesday while that of North Central and South East went through yesterday at plenary.
Commenting after the upper legislative chamber considered the two pieces of legislation, Lawan stressed that national planning should be priortised.
Both bills were sponsored by Senators Stella Oduah (PDP: Anambra North) and Abba Moro (PDP: Benue South).His words: “Let me say that what we have all agreed is that each geo-political zone should have a development commission, but in my view, what Nigeria needs most is proper planning.
“Because all these channels, like one of our colleagues stated, are not based on commission, but national planning that is followed through.
“Lagos is setting the pace in many aspects as compared to most of our states. They have been able to, through a well-grounded blueprint, progress faster I think, than most of the states.
“I think we need to emphasize our national planning more, because this is the only way we can address all development challenges in different parts of the country.”
He continued: “We have some advantages in some areas, and of course, some states in some geo-political zones have comparative advantage than others. These are where we are supposed to focus for the development of the country through investment in those areas that we find in some of the geo-political zones.
“I think every geo-political zone has something to contribute. Definitely, what we need is to ensure that we work to ensure that we exploit and utilise the potentials of the North Central, and there are potentials everywhere in all the parts of the country.”
Earlier Senator Bamidele Okpeyemi had observed that one of the reasons for the agitation for development commissions was to take care of peculiar crises.
Besides, a bill to establish state police yesterday passed second reading on the floor of the red chamber. Sponsored by Senator Bashiru Surajudeen Ajibola (APC: Osun Central), the piece of legislation seeks to alter the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to reflect a provision for creation of state police.
However, the bill scaled second reading when the Ad hoc Committee on Security was yet to submit its report.It was subsequently referred to the Constitution Review Committee headed by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege for further public hearing before reverting to the chamber for third reading.
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