Senate yesterday stood down report on the North East Development Commission, NEDC, pending further consultations on grey areas which have been generating controversy.
The issues, which revolve around citing of the headquarters of NEDC and funding, have remained unresolved as senators from the North-East region refuse to come to compromise, especially with some of them insisting that the commission’s headquarters be cited in either Maiduguri or Gombe.
Earlier during debate on the matter at Senate plenary, Senator Usman Nafada Bayero (Gombe North) had argued that since Maiduguri and Gombe have similar status of statehood, and Gombe being the centre of North-East should be the most convenient place to cite the commission.
“Maiduguri and Gombe have same status of statehood; the commission is not a military commission; Gombe as the centre of the North-East is the most convenient place for it.”
Senate leader, Ali Ndume stressed that the issue of location of the commission’s headquarters is very realistic, noting that just as the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is cited in the South-South, and the Nigeria Ports Authority by virtue of its nature is cited in Lagos, Maiduguri being the headquarters of North-East ab-initio, should be considered to host the commission.
Ndume, however, agreed that there’s need to go back and work on modalities towards resolving the controversy, adding that there was no need for continued argument on where the headquarters of the NEDC should be.
Earlier, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu harped on the need for further consultations on the matter.
“We need to give another chance to consultation both on funding and citing of the headquarters. The Bill does not deserve the controversy being generated. We should go back to the caucus to decide based on consensus. On issue of funding, Section 162 of the 1999 constitution gives room for harmonisation,” Ekweremadu stated.
As a way of resolving the matter, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who frowned at the argument which he described as uncalled for, stood down report on the bill pending the outcome of further consultations by a six-man committee to be headed by Senator Sam Egwu.
Other members of the committee include Andy Paulker, Aliyu Wamakko, Murtala Nyako, Dino Melaye, and Omotayo Alasoadura.
In an interview with journalists, Senator Nafada further agreed that based on statistics, it was unarguable that Borno State would have upper hand as regards assessment of fund.


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