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.
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.