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President Buhari Refuses To Ratify Waterways, Tourism Bills, Inaugurates North East Development Commission

President Muhammadu Buhari has again declined assent to another important bill. Buhari refused to ratify the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority Bill, 2019 sent to him by the National Assembly.

President Buhari’s refusal was contained in a letter read on the floor of the Senate by Senate President Bukola Saraki on Tuesday.

The bill is for an Act to Repeal the National Inland Waterways Authority Act CAP N47, LFN 2004 and to Enact the National Inland Waterways Act.

It will provide for the management, regulation and development of the National Inland Waterways and to promote Private Sector participation in the development of National Inland Waterways in Nigeria and for other related matters.

Recall the Senate had in March 2017 inaugurated a joint technical committee on transport sector reform bills that includes the Inland Waterways Authority Bill.

The Senate made the passage of the bill, which will serve to develop the inland waterways transport system, a critical aspect of its legislative agenda.

“These bills if passed in our view, will help us modernize and expand our transport sector infrastructure.

“There are already subsequent NASSBER report suggesting that these bills alone can help add 87,000 new jobs annually for the next 5 years, with an income growth average of 7%,” Saraki said at the inauguration of the joint technical committee on the transport sector reform bills.

TNG reports President Buhari also refused to assent the Nigeria Tourism Development Authority Repeal and Enactment Bill, 2019.

Meanwhile, the President today inaugurated the Board of North East Development Commission (NEDC).

The North East Development Commission (NEDC) was established in 2017, after the Bill establishing the commission was passed by the two legislative chambers. President Buhari on October 25th 2017, assented to the Bill, then signed it into an Act.

The NEDC is charged with the responsibility to receive and manage funds from allocation of the Federal Account international donors for the settlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency as well as tackling menace of poverty, illiteracy level, ecological problems and any other related environmental or developmental challenges in the North-East states”- Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe.

The Act establishing the Commission provides for a Governing Body, comprising of a Chairman; a Managing Director and Chief Executive; three Executive Directors (one from each Member state not being represented by the Chairman of the Board, the Managing Director and the representative of the North-East zone); one person each to represent the six geo-political zones of Nigeria; and one person to represent the Federal Ministry of Finance; and Budget and National Planning.

On January 2019, President Buhari nominated candidates to serve as Chairman and members of the Board of the Commission.

On April 9, 2019, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Major-General Paul Tarfa (rtd) as Chairman of the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

Others confirmed are:

Mohammed Goni Alkali – MD/CEO

Musa Uma Yashi – ED Humanitarian Affairs

Mohammed Jawa B. – Executive Director, Admin and Finance

Umar Maiwada Mohammed – Executive Director, Operations

Hon. David Sabo Kente – Member representing North East zone

Asamo M. Mohammed – Member representing North West zone

Benjamin Adeniyi – Member representing Central zone

Olawale Osun – Member representing South West zone

Theo Nkechi – Member representing South East

Bassey Uke – Member representing South South zone

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