Monday, December 28, 2015

Bill To Compel N’East States To Forfeit 15% Of Allocation For Development Underway

The proposed Northeast Development Commission (NDC) that is currently being legislated by the Nigerian
Senate, if passed into law, will get its funding from 15 per cent deductions from the monthly allocations of the six states in the region.

The six non-oil producing states, which are rated amongst the poorest in Nigeria, will have to part with 15 per cent of their income from the Federation Account to enable the new commission help them fix their states which had been destroyed by Boko Haram.

This is coming exactly two months after Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo disclosed in Maiduguri, Borno State, during a multi-sectoral stakeholders’ roundtable on North East that the Presidential Initiative for Northeast-Nigeria (PINE) will be spending the sums of N97 billion and N116 billion on the short term and long term basis respectively in the rebuilding and development of the Boko Haram-ravaged region within five years’ time frame.

The Nigerian Senate said it was determined to help in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the North East region after years of devastation by the Boko Haram insurgency.

It hopes that if the bill seeking the establishment of the NDC fully comes on board anytime in 2016, the commission would have to rely on the 15 per cent per cent of the six states’ grants as well as three per cent of the total annual budget of any solid minerals extraction mining company operating in the troubled North East states, including agricultural processing companies, as a source of the commission’ funding.

The bill also wants a chunk of the 50 per cent of the funds due to member states of the commission from the Ecological Fund to be channelled into the coffers of the new commission.

The 18 senators from the six North East states sponsored the bill as representatives of theirs states: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe Taraba and Yobe.

We learnt the Bill has gone through second reading and is awaiting a public hearing before the final clause-by-clause consideration and eventual passage into law.

The senators said the new proposed law is expected to give the people of the zone a sense of belonging through deliberate legal efforts to rebuild the region.

The bill says the commission, if established, will have such monies granted or lent to, or deposited with the commission by the federal government or a state government, any other body or institution whether local or foreign.

The bill also provides that the commission, when established, “shall in every year submit to the National Assembly, through the president of the country, an estimate of the expenditure and income of the commission during the next succeeding year for approval not later than September 30.”

When fully activated, the commission will be charged with the responsibilities “to receive and manage fund from allocation of the Federation Account and international donors for the settlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency as well as tackling the menace of poverty, literacy level, ecological problems and any other related environmental or developmental challenges in the region.”

One of the co-sponsors of the Bill, Senator Danjumma Goje, told LEADERSHIP in an interview that the Bill was inspired by their collective concern about the development of their region.
“Like I said earlier, we need to rebuild that part of the country and give the people a true sense of belonging. It is not a fault of theirs that the activities of insurgents have destroyed their sources of livelihood, crippled the economy, lives lost, properties destroyed,” said Goje.


No comments:

Post a Comment