A bill for an Act to establish the South East Development Commission to serve as catalyst for the development of commercial potentials of the South-East has passed second reading at the House of Representatives.
The bill has been passed by the Senate and was sent to the green chambers for concurrence on Thursday in Abuja in accordance with the law.
The commission when established would receive and manage funds from allocation from the federation for the rehabilitation, reconstruction and reparation for lost houses and business of victims of the Nigerian Civil War.
The commission would also address any other environmental or developmental challenge and for related matters in the geo-political zone.
Supporting the bill, Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC-Kano), said there is need to look at the bigger picture and the historical background of the civil war.
He said there is also need for government to implement what the entire country agreed upon years ago.
Mr Jibrin said the Yakubu Gowon administration has already began implementation before it was interrupted and the project abandoned.
The lawmaker said though a lot has been done, there is lots of underdevelopment in the zone.
According to him, this is the time to show courage and make the South East feel like a part of Nigeria.
Jibrin said members must raise up above sentiments and pass the bill as it may come back to hunt the entire nation.
Abdulrazak Namdas (APC-Adamawa), urged members to support the bill as there is need for some reconstructions in the zone.
Mr Namdas, whose constituency is a beneficiary of the North East Development Commission, said it would be unfair for him not to support the bill.
Saheed Fijabi (APC-Oyo), however, cautioned the house to be careful in passing the bill saying that instead of establishing South East Development Commission, a Nigeria Development Commission should be established.
He suggested that rather than establish developmental commission for each of the geo-political zones of the country, a bill establishing Nigeria Development Commission should be considered.
After much debate by members, the Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lassun (APC-Osun), put the matter to vote and majority voted in favour of the bill.
Mr Lassun forwarded the bill to the Committee of the Whole for further legislative actions.