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Reps move for commission to develop South West

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House of Representatives speaker, Femi Gbaja. Photo; TWITTER/SPEAKERGBAJA

A bill for the establishment of a commission to address the infrastructure deficit in the southwest geopolitical zone yesterday scaled through second reading on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Mr. Olufemi Fakeye and 80 others, including Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, the piece of legislation is entitled, “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, for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of raids, 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 southwest states and for related matters.”

With the exception of a few lawmakers who opposed the move, the majority, who bared their minds on the initiative, believed that the country would be the biggest beneficiary if the zone is well developed.

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Shehu Koko, who chairs the House Committee on Air Force, was particularly excited at the prospect of developing Lagos State – the commercial nerve centre of the country.

Koko (Kebbi: APC) argued that the growth of Lagos would have a positive impact on the wellbeing of Nigerians.
Yusuf Buba (Adamawa: APC), while throwing his weight behind the bill, described Lagos as a melting pot and home to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic and religious inclinations.

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For Eke Bede Uchenne (Imo: APC), a development commission for the South West was an idea whose time had come, urging sustainable pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the piece of legislation after going through the mill in the National Assembly.

Besides, the Green Chamber has mandated its Committee on Banking to liaise with professionals and financial consultants to investigate the alleged illegal charges on the accounts of lawmakers and other public institutions.

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It directed the panel to probe and determine the extent of excess charges on its members, other public institutions and individual accounts as well as ascertain the extent of excess charges if any, in the last eight years.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion under matters of urgent national importance moved by Yusuf Adamu Gagdi on the “Need to investigate excess and illegal charges on the accounts of public institutions and persons.”

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The motion sponsor regretted that the banking industry which ought to be a catalyst for economic growth and wealth creation had to become unattractive to local and foreign investors owing to alleged lack of transparency.

Also yesterday, the lower chamber of the National Assembly resolved to probe the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance and Health for their alleged violation of the Procurement Act, urging the Federal Government to restore the procurement powers of the Ministry of Health with immediate effect.

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It directed all relevant ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to redouble efforts and support the Federal Government in protecting the lives of Nigerians in the face of the “unprecedented health challenges” in the land.

The resolutions were consequent upon the adoption of a motion under matter of urgent national importance moved by Shehu Balarabe Kakale, Tanko Sonunu and Babatunde Adejare on “Serious Impediments in the Concerted and Rapid Response Efforts by the Federal Government to Contain and Deal with the Grievous Threats of Lassa Fever and Coronavirus and Other Related Matters” at plenary in Abuja.

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