Senate Confirms North-East Development Commission Chairman, Members

Senate Confirms North-East Development Commission Chairman, Members
A file photo of the Senate during plenary at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo: [email protected]


The Senate has confirmed Major General Paul Tarfa (rtd) as Chairman of the governing board of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).

The lawmakers also confirmed the nomination of 10 other people as members of the governing board during Tuesday’s plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

This followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Special Duties submitted by the lawmaker representing Adamawa Central district, Senator Abdul-Aziz Nyako.

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In her contribution, Senator Binta Masi who is also from Adamawa commended the committee for their effort and President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.

She, however, demanded an explanation as to why the commission was domiciled in Borno State and its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) also from the state.

Senator Bala Na’allah, on his part, noted that his colleague made valid observations.

He said the assumption was that someone who was home would be able to put the necessary things in place to run it with less inconvenience.

But the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, had a different view and urged the lawmakers that the north-east region was in dire need for the commission to commence work as soon as possible.

He said, “These are experienced people that are ready to hit the ground running. We should not waver in ensuring the right things are done. The North-East requires the committee to take off immediately.”

Also contributing to the debate, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, described the commission as a product of the genuity and productivity of the Eighth Senate.

According to him, it shows their concern with matters in the region and over site activities should be carried out immediately to ensure that value is added to all in the zone.

Following the deliberation, the lawmakers confirmed Tarfa as the chairman of the governing board of the commission, with 10 others as members.

They are Mohammed Alkali (CEO), Musa Yashi, Muhammed Jawa, Omar Mohammed, David Kente, Asmau Mohammed, Benjamin Adanyi, Olawale Oshun, Dr O. Ekechi, and Obasuke Mcdonald.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, congratulated the Chairman and members of the Board, as well as members of the National Assembly and the President for the success.

He said, “This is a sign for us not to waste any more time, as we all know that this bill was passed back in 2016 and before that, we remember that it was a senator from the south-south that actually raised the issue of concern.”

“This shows that whatever concerns any part of this country concerns all of us and that is what has led us today to now have a Commission,” the Senate President added.

He was hopeful that the board and commission were competent and would move quickly into action to ensure the take-off of activities to bring development to the parts of the region that have suffered in the last few years.

Governor Shettima Commends NASS Efforts On NEDC Creation

Kashim Shettima, NEDC, NASS, North East, NortheastThe Governor of Borno State, Mr Kashim Shettima, has commended lawmakers at the National Assembly for their efforts towards the establishment of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

Governor Shettima gave the praise on Wednesday while he led a delegation from Nigeria’s northeast to the National Assembly in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He said he was optimistic that the commission would address the challenges confronting the region, as a result of the insurgency.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, had said the lawmakers were looking to fast track the passage of the bill to set up the NEDC.

The lawmakers, however believe an institutional framework was required to facilitate the coordination of all the support provided towards the reconstruction and development of the region.

Mr Dogara said the House recognised the need for a legal framework that would address the overall development challenges of the northeast.

He pointed out that the existing legal frameworks on refugees, emergency management and boundary disputes resolution had so far not addressed the plight of the people in the region.

Saraki Urges UN To Lift Suspension On Aid Deliveries

United Nations, Bukola SarakiSenate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has appealed to the United Nations to lift its suspension on aid deliveries in Nigeria.

UN made the announcement after a humanitarian aid convoy from the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was attacked while travelling from Bama to Maiduguri in Borno State.

In a statement by his spokesman, Senator Saraki condemned the attack, stating that it was unacceptable to endanger the lives of aid workers who were only trying to assuage the situation in Nigeria’s Northeast.

He further called for an immediate review of the security situation in the region by the relevant authorities.

The Senate President stressed that it was necessary to alleviate the concerns of international partners who are set to help rebuild the crisis-torn areas.

With the temporary suspension of UN’s activities in the region, Dr. Saraki called on the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant agencies to immediately address the shortfall that could arise from the cessation of donations of food and medicines.

He appealed to the UN to resume its activities in Northeast as soon as possible, while reassuring Nigerians and the international community that the Senate would fast-track the passage of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) Bill.

The NEDC Bill aims to create a legislative framework and multi-state platform for the coordination of relief and donations to the northeast zone.