North Central Development Commission Bill passes second reading at Senate


By Saminu Ibrahim

A Bill for an Act to establish North Central Development Commission (NCDC), on Thursday passed second reading at the Nigerian Senate.

The Bill seeks to establish a Commission for receiving and managing funds allocated by the Federal Government and Donors (International and Local Donors), for the resettlement, rehabilitation, integration and reconstruction of roads, houses, farmlands and business premises affected by flood, erosion and farmer/herder clashes, construction of large format drainage systems.

It also seek for the dredging of rivers Benue and Niger to control flood, erosion and other incidental matters, as well as tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy and other related environmental and developmental challenges in the North Central zone of Nigeria.

The Bill titled “An Act to establish the North Central Development Commission in the Act as a catalyst to develop the agricultural, commercial and industrial potential of the North Central is being Sponsored by Senator Abba Moro (Benue South).

Recall, the bill is coming barely two years, when the North East Development Commission (NEDC) was established by the Federal Government and barely 24 hours when the Bill for establishing North West Development Commission (NWDC) passed second reading at the Senate.

It was read for the first time on the 27th November, 2019.

When passed into law, it will alleviate the devastating state of the 6 States of the North Central zone and the FCT, Abuja, which were ravaged by natural disasters and insurgencies.

Leading the debate on the bill, Senator Moro, said, “the North Central Zone of Nigeria has been devastated and left in bollix by the noxious antics of terrorists, incidents of flood and erosion, insurgency, herder/farmer clashes, poverty, high rate of illiteracy, to mention but a few”.

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He said, despite being blessed with several mineral resources, including Rivers Benue and Niger, that could boost the economy of the country, the zone had remained handicapped in terms of development.

Moro explained that hundreds of acres of farmlands are damaged in the North Central Zone where the people are largely agrarian; saying farmers in Agatu, Benue State and all other States in the zone continued to lose their crops and farmlands to flood and erosion.

“It is no longer news that over the years, herder/farmer clashes in North Central Nigeria, especially in Benue state, have continuously made headlines. Consequently, infrastructures ranging from places of worship, roads, hospitals, schools, houses, recreational centers, etc, have been left tattered, shattered and pierced by bullets.

“Women, children, pregnant women and in fact, the entire population is a victim of the atrocities perpetrated by suspected herders in the North Central zone of Nigeria. Even animals and the environment are not spared the chaos and conundrum imparted on the North Central Zone of Nigeria by the perpetrators of these unwholesome acts”, Moro added.

Dr. Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate, who presided over Thursday’s plenary, referred the Bill to the Committee on Establishment for further legislative actions.


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