Members of the House of Representatives yesterday expressed support for the establishment of Constituency Development Fund.
The lawmakers unanimously spoke in favour of the passage of the ‘bill for an Act to establish the Constituency Development Fund for the purpose of even development of all constituencies in the federation and for other connected purposes,’ which scaled through second reading.
In his lead debate, Ben Nwankwo (APGA, Anambra) sponsor of the bill explained that the Fund when established would address numerous challenges facing 70 percent of Nigerians living in the rural areas and ensure that good governance is delivered to the crucial areas.
Nwankwo noted that the bill when passed into law will “legitimize the contentious constituency support project. The bill is intended to correct the top-bottom approach of governance and replace it with the reverse. When passed into law the Fund will ensure that certain portion of the nation’s annual budget will be set aside for rural development.”
On his part, Sunday Adepoju (PDP, Oyo) posited that the Fund when operational will address the dearth of infrastructure in rural areas as well as “persistence of rural-urban migration and unemployment in the country.”
Also speaking, Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), who cited Section 14 and 16 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), stressed that the bill seeks to protect “majority of the constituent parts that make up Nigeria are in the rural area.”
Also on Thursday, the House during the consideration of the motion on urgent public importance stressed the need for Federal Government to intervene in the boundary crisis between Odeke and Echeno communities in Ibaji Local Government Area of Kogi state and Aguleri-Otu in Anambra State.
The lawmakers also mandated the joint Committee on Petroleum Upstream and Special Duties which investigated and conducted public hearings on the crisis since 2012 to submit their report without further delay.
The lawmakers during the debate expressed concern over the failure of federal boundary commission which was directed to come up with boundary adjustment to determine where the oil wells fall to submit its report.
In the bid to avoid further killing of innocent people in the affected areas, the lawmakers urged Federal Government to mobilise the security Agencies to man the border between Ibaji Local Government in Kogi and Anambra States as a matter of urgency.
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja