Bill seeking to establish the Northwest Development Commission on Wednesday passed the second reading at the Senate.
The Bill, titled: “A Bill for an Act to establish the North West Development Commission to act as a catalyst to develop the commercial and industrial potentials of the North West, to receive and manage funds from allocation of the Federation for the agricultural and industrial development of the North West and for other related matters therewith, 2020,” was sponsored by Jibrin Barau (Kano North).
In his lead debate, the senator said the Bill was co-sponsored by all senators from the Northwest.
The Kaduna North lawmaker explained that the proposed commission is meant “to act as a catalyst to develop the array of potentials of the Northwest as well as address the gap in infrastructural development of the region”.
Barau said: “The infrastructure of the zone has been immensely destroyed by the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents, armed bandits and kidnappers across the region, leading to exodus of investors, businessmen, managers of companies and employees.
“This destruction is having a major impact on the economy of the region as it has led to severe food shortages, unemployment in a region that has traditionally produced cash and food crops across the Sahel.
“Also, some parts of the region are currently facing the problem of desertification.
“All these have contributed to make agriculture and other economic activities to suffer, thereby creating more poverty in the zone.
“The Federal Government is in the right position to show concern in the face of the plethora of problems and challenges facing this geo-political zone by creating the Northwest Commission to appropriately address the developmental needs of the zone…”
Most senators supported the Bill.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan referred the Bill to the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public for further legislative work.