HomeFeaturesS'East Devt Commission Will Open Region Up – Sen. Ndubueze

S’East Devt Commission Will Open Region Up – Sen. Ndubueze

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The Senator representing Imo North, Senator Patrick Chukwuba Ndubueze, has described the South East Development Commission (SEDC) Bill passed recently by the National Assembly as necessary to build up competition among regions in the country.

He said that the legislation which is awaiting assent by President Bola Tinubu, will further give impetus to the area’s technological, and commercial niche.

Speaking with journalists at the National Assembly in Abuja, Senator Ndubueze explained that if assented to by the President, the coming of the SEDC “Industrialization will spring up. And if we are industrialized, there’s work going on and the youths will not have time to do what they are doing. To be miscreants. Because people will be busy. If you go to Europe, you can see minus seven degrees, so this is minus 14 degrees centigrade but they are working, they are running shifts.

“And I keep saying that Nigeria, Africa, Nigeria is so blessed that we have the best climatic conditions in the world. And if we govern ourselves very, very well, we can run three shifts of eight hourly. Which means, around the clock, people will be working.

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“And how will you have that when there is light? Wow, everywhere. Good roads, rail lines, everything. And as such, people will be engaged. Even then, Nigeria will be, their whole being supposed to be for West Africa, if not the whole Africa. People will come here for work.

“So instead of our people going abroad, those people abroad we are meeting will now seek a visa to come and stay with us. We have the best climate and we have the business. Then what else are you looking for? So it’s a good one.

“So what we are saying in essence is that if this commission becomes a reality, it will reduce insecurity, definitely.”

Recall that the agitation for the establishment of the commission started many years ago, with members of the 8th Senate passing legislation whose aim was to bring social-infrastructural development to the region.

Unfortunately, President Muhammadu Buhari did not assent to the Bill.

However, as the 10th National Assembly emerged, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, and some other lawmakers from the region reintroduced the bill in the lower chamber last year; and in December, transmitted it to the Senate for concurrence, with both Chambers doing the needful of the document only a few days ago.

He also noted the crisis in the area which according to him is linked to the feeling of marginalization, as he added that with the coming of the commission “industrialization will spring up. For example, the Vice President will be going to commission a power plant built by an individual entrepreneur very soon.

So trust us- a lot of it will come up and having secured power in the area people come with industries you know we are giving to craft, technology. The South is the hub of technology not just in Nigeria , but in Africa.”

On the proliferation of zonal development commissions, the lawmaker said, “Let every region get their own commission. I’ll be happy, I’m supporting that 100%. After that I can bring up a motion. I’m not emotional, I’m game.

“Let us have a regional government to superintend over all these commissions so that nobody will now go and appropriate it to himself. So what am I looking for? The restructuring has gotten it. So it is a very wonderful work. For me, when I saw the other regional commissions, I started preparing my bill for regional government.

“So what I’m trying to say is, it is a good domain. Every region should have it. And you are deriving money from the federal. Now, if you derive from the federal, those places where people can augment their own commission, they will go and augment and move ahead. Others may copy them. And as such, what do we do? We’ll now come back in order that we are not… every time we come here and share money and we are not seeing it, we keep complaining. You understand me? And we are talking about the federal government.

“So, my next bill, after we have gotten the commissions, will be a bill for us to adopt regional government. And the regional government will supretend over the commissions.

“If any, somebody can be held responsible by the people of the area. But if you are, as we appointed the chairman, the board from the federal level, they are not accountable to the area, the region, because they were not appointed by those people. The people don’t have authority to remove them or to replace them.

“So they behave like emperors because it’s only the federal that can call them to order. You understand? And if the federal wants to call them to order, their relations will start to go up that it’s a brutal act.

But when the regional government does supretend over such and they are elected, you know what it means? So once you are doing bad either they recall you, they remove you, or they make sure that your tenure is not renewed.”

He expressed optimism that the move would allow for the creation of state police forces, adding “We are not talking about state police. In my article, what I am expecting is regional police. Regional police know the importance now. They are not accountable to any particular governor. No person will use the regional police, the police to fight his enemy, political enemy.

“But state police, people can use it to fight their enemy. But regional, nobody can because there is, the governors of the region will come together to do what? To provide for their funding. So that’s it.

“So God is navigating us. But remember that even the federal police, the government is against them. Against their opponents. Because they derive power from the center. And it’s not every government that can use the federal police, it depends on your inclination.

But when it comes to regional police, and that regional police derives power from the region there. No, no, no, one person can hijack it.”

Continuing he allayed fears of bickering in appointments into the commission, among states in the Southeast.

This is as expressed confidence that President Bola Tinubu would assent to the Bill and would make the creation of the commission the legacy of his government.

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