June 5, 2023

Efforts to allow the future inclusion of Kano and Plateau States, as beneficiaries of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), failed yesterday in the Senate.

This is coming as the upper chamber sought adequate financial provision for NEDC in the 2018 budget

President Muhammadu Buhari, last week, assented to a bill seeking the establishment of a commission to spearhead the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the people and infrastructure affected by Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba States.

Although the Senate included Kano and Plateau among states to be covered by the commission, they were later expunged at the conference between committees of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Senator Jibrin Barau (Kano North) sought the approval of the Senate to allow the inclusion of the states in any future amendments of the Act. His prayer, seconded by Senator Jeremiah Useni (Plateau South), read: “Whenever in the future the NEDC Act is amended, Kano and Plateau States should be included.”

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu put the prayer to a voice vote and the lawmakers voted against it.

Ekweremadu repeated the voice vote and the result was a resounding nay, as the lawmakers stood their ground against any future inclusion of the two states as part of NEDC states.

Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central), and 15 others, asked for a similar commission for the development of their zones.

Senator James Manager (Delta South), who praised President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly for the act, urged the Senate to do likewise for the South East Development Commission Bill, which, according to him, has passed the second reading.

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