Why I brought the Bill, You can’t Discuss Nigeria without South West — Amosun
Says South West has Contributed much to the Development of Nigeria
Says if we develop our areas, we will have a proud Nigeria
By Henry Umoru – Abuja
The Bill seeking the establishment of the South West Development Commission was reintroduced in the Senate on Wednesday.
The South West Development Commission Bill would be saddled with the responsibilities of managing and administering funds received from the Federation Account.
The Bill, which was read the first time, yesterday during plenary, is being sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, All Progressives Congress, APC, Ogun Central.
The new bill, which was introduced yesterday, would address developmental issues in the states which make up the South West geo-political zone of the country. The States are Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Lagos, Osun, and Oyo.
The Bill, entitled, “South West Development Commission( Est, etc) Bill, 2019( SB.167), was in line with legislative proceedings, introduced by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, APC, Kebbi North and affirmed by the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewor.
Addressing Journalists on the Bill, Senator Amosun said that it was time for South West to have its own Commission based on the contributions the zone has made in the country, adding that Nigeria as a country cannot be discussed without the South West.
According to Amosun, if every part of the country is developed, we will have a country that we will all be proud of.
Senator Amosun said, “Clearly it is for the development of our people and our area. If a part of a whole is not well then the whole will not be well. Clearly every part of Nigeria should feel concerned should be concerned about the need to develop their place.
“And if all of us develop our place, of course, we will have a beautiful country that everybody will be proud of. So to that extent, this is not just my Bill, it is being co-sponsored by all of us (Senators) from the South West.
“If you look at even the population of Nigeria, just look at how many are we from the South West. I am saying this with all sense of responsibility, there is no part of Nigeria that is not important.
“All of us are. Everybody has something that they are bringing on the table but of course, you will notice that there is no way the Nigerian Nation can be described without some kind of prominent mention to those from the South West and what we contribute to Nigeria as a nation.
“Look at just the contribution of Lagos State to Nigeria as a nation. So I think there should be some kind of special status but not just for Lagos alone now. Of course, we are saying whatever happens in Lagos happens in Ogun State. For me, Ogun State is the industrial hub of Nigeria.
” You the population that we have and what we are contributing to Nigeria. There are some parts of Nigeria that we know – this is not probably by their doing – for example, our people from the North East, everybody, there is no sane person that will not want to support particularly with the destruction that has happened there. We don’t want any place to be left behind.
“But in doing that we should not be oblivious of the fact that we need to continue to develop too and that is why we are bringing this Bill. Indeed we had a meeting and everyone agreed that it is a good Bill that must quickly be put in place and that is why this morning it was read for the first time.
” I know that we are going to more or less incorporate the Bill that Senator Gbenga Ashafa brought the other time, and I think it is even been represented now. But I know that anywhere in the South West, if it is good in Lagos, Ekiti or in Osun, I will be happy and I am sure that there is no way it will be good in those places that it will not be okay for us in Ogun State.
“This is not because similar agencies have been created in the North East or South-South, everybody should look out for how they can improve the well-being of our people.”
It will be recalled that a similar bill was sponsored in the 8th Senate by Senator Gbenga Ashafa who represented Lagos East on the platform of APC.
It was read for the first time at plenary presided over by the former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Also, recall that the proposal to establish a South West Development Commission came eight days after the Senate passed the southeast Development Commission Bill 2018.
Already in existence are the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the North East Development Commission, NEDC, which establishment bill received presidential assent in October 2017.
Recall that a bill for the establishment of southeast Development Commission, SEDC sponsored by Senator Stella Oduah, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Anambra North was read the first time on Wednesday at Plenary.
If the South West Development Commission scales second reading and finally passed and signed into law along with the southeast Development Commission Bill, it will bring to five, the number of regional interventionist agencies in the country, leaving only the North Central yet to propose for the establishment of such a Commission.