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North West Development Commission bill passes Senate on second reading

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The North West Development Commission (NWDC) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Trust Fund have both been initiated by the Senate for approval.

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After first and general debates, the measure requesting the two pieces of legislation was approved for second reading on Thursday in the Red Chamber.

During the first round of discussion on the NWDC, its sponsor, Senator Jibrin Barau, who is also the Senate Deputy President, stated that the commission, once formed, would help to develop the North West’s many potentials and fill the region’s infrastructure development gap.

Boko Haram militants, armed bandits, and kidnappers have wreaked havoc on the zone’s infrastructure, according to Barau, who bemoaned the loss of life and livelihoods caused by the flight of investors, company managers, and workers.

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In an area that has historically produced cash and food crops across the Sahel, he postulated that the destruction is having a significant influence on the economy of the region due to the severe food shortages and unemployment caused by it.

He went on to say that desertification is an issue in some areas of the region right now, which has hurt agriculture and other economic activity, making poverty worse in the area.

Once formed, the commission will “formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the North West zone, where security shall prevail; and rebuild the road, medical, educational, social, agricultural and other infrastructure destroyed in the region by the activities of Boko-Haram insurgents and bandits,” he claims.

The document’s additional purpose was to “imagine, plan, and execute, in compliance with the established legislation, initiatives and programs for the sustainable development of

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southwestern United States in the areas of transportation, healthcare, schools, jobs, agriculture, urban planning, water and power, housing, and commerce.

Addressing ecological and environmental issues resulting from desertification and other related challenges in the North West zone, as well as assisting member states in formulating and implementing policies to promote sound and efficient resource management, were among the priorities emphasized by Barau.

The Deputy Senate President expressed even more optimism, saying, “The enactment of this bill will help to rebuild the North West zone and shall provide the opportunity for the people of the zone to display their talents and contribute immensely to the development of the country.”

Sponsor Senator Yemi Adaramodu (APC Ekiti South) spoke about the NYSC Trust Fund and how it would help youth corps members with things like funding their skill acquisition and entrepreneurship, providing them with start-up capital, and ultimately preparing them to be employers of labor rather than merely job seekers once their national service is over.

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