NIGERIA: SENATE HEARING ON THE SOUTH EAST DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (SEDC)

Ala Igbo Development Foundation submissions to a Committee of the Senate of the Nigeria National Assembly. ALAIGBO: A VISION FOR A NEW ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA FOR ALAIGBO. This is ADF Memorandum on her Vision for the Socio-Economic Development of Alaigbo which the organization has shared with leaders and stakeholders in Alaigbo.

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ALAIGBO DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION
(ADF)

The Rebuilding and Development of Igbo Nation and the Rebirth and Advancement of the Spirit of her Culture and Civilization Phone: 08033497985, 08023455681
Email:- [email protected] Website: www.alaigbodf.org

SENATE HEARING ON THE SOUTHEAST DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (SEDC)

SUBMISSION AND PROPOSED AMENDMENTS BY THE ALAIGBO DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION (ADF)

Preamble
The Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) is a body corporate comprising eminent scholars, elders, public figures, clergy, professionals, youth and women, both at home and in the Igbo diaspora who are committed to the Rebuilding and Development of Alaigbo and the Rebirth and Advancement of the Spirit of her Culture and Civilization. It is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Abuja, Nigeria and has membership spread in the continents of America, Africa, Australia and Europe.

This is the second time ADF has made submissions to a Committee of the Senate of the National Assembly.

ADF hereby submit a copy of the Bill establishing the South East Development Commission (SEDC), with fifteen copies of the suggested amendments by ADF. The document highlights the affected sections as well as the amendment and comments.

1. Part 1, section 1(4) removed from the draft. The
2. “Establishment of Government Council “ changed to Establishment of Governing Council. This change is effected in all section where Council was used. The aim is to avoid controversy between Council and Board in future.

3. Section 2(1) expanded to include two more states with large Igbo Population who are victims of the Civil war of 1967-70 and its aftermath, i.e., Anioma-Delta and Igbo-Speaking Areas of Rivers State. Also, Civil society groups who are major development stakeholders should be added in the Governing Council, such as:

(a) Ohanaeze Ndigbo
(b) Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF)
(c) Sound East Region Economic Development Corporation (SEREDEC)
(d) South East Nigerian Union of Teachers.
(e) South East Nigerian Union of Journalist
(f) Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(SE)
(g) Academic Staff of Nigerian Universities, ASUU(SE)
(h) Amalgamated Traders Associations (Onitsha, Aba and Enugu)

4. Section 4 Anioma-Delta state and Rivers state should be included in chairmanship post rotation.
5. Section 7(1)(b): “Railway network, Inland waterways, seaport, effective road infrastructure, power, etc.”. should be added in the areas to be covered in the programs and projects to be undertaken by the Commission.

6. Section 7 (d), This requires the Commission ton “formulate policies and guidelines for the development of the South-East”, ADF proposes to be added that “In doing this, the Commission shall respect and collaborate with initiatives by the States and private stakeholders in the South-East”

7. Section 7 (e) In identifying factors inhibiting the development of the South East as well as other Igbo-speaking areas, and indeed the region of the South-South of Nigeria that suffered with the Igbo-speaking areas during and after the war, ADF urges that the Commission pay special attention to be paid to the following: –

a. the enormous devastation in the infrastructure – Social, Economic and Ecological – during the war.

b. The fact that no special plan has ever been mounted by the Federal Government to bail the zone out of the massive destruction of the 1967-70 war.

c. The demand for Reparation which has been made by various bodies in the in the past, especially by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo during the Oputa Panel and the Reparation movement which Chief Mbazulike Amaechi continued to champion without getting any attention from the Federal Government of Nigeria.

d. The plight of millions of Ndigbo who were displaced, lost several members of their families, lost their property and most of whom are languishing in poverty in different parts of Alaigbo without receiving attention from the Federal Government. It must be noted that Igbos were the initial targets of the Boko Haram slaughter during the initial wave of its operations. The Federal Government ignored these Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled to their home-land in the Igbo-speaking areas. The Alaigbo Development Foundation is initiating a joint-program with the Christian Council of Nigeria in the South East and the Town Unions to take a census of these unfortunate and neglected victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.

e. In considering the application of Donor Funds for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the South East and other Igbo-speaking areas, the National Assembly should investigate the statement attributed to the United Nations official regarding the directive from the Federal Government asking them to give exclusive attention to the North-East in channeling their Aid to Nigeria.

f. Any attempt to bail out the South-East must take into account the economic decay in the region arising from deliberate neglect _ these include among others, the collapse of various economic and industrial projects – the Enugu Coal Mine Industry, the Nkalagu Cement Factory, the Onitsha International Market, the industrial Estates of Port Harcourt, Aba, Owerri, Onitsha, Abakaliki, Calabar, etc.

The rest of the submission were mainly on technical issues. In submitting this Memorandum, ADF enclosed two historical documents that relate to relate to the predicaments of Ndigbo in Nigeria and the critical issues that need to be addressed in an effort to address the issues that affect the development of Alaigbo.

Two Documents are attached to this submission:-
1. The Violations of Human and Civil rights of Ndigbo in the Federation of Nigeria. This is the Petition submitted to the Human Rights Violations Investing Committee headed by Justice Oputa.by Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
(9 October 1999).

2. A Monograph on ALAIGBO: A VISION FOR A NEW ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA FOR ALAIGBO. This is ADF Memorandum on her Vision for the Socio-Economic Development of Alaigbo which the organization has shared with leaders and stakeholders in Alaigbo.

PROF. T. UZODINMA NWALA DR ONYI GBUJIE
ADF President ADF Deputy Secretary

*THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE BIAFRA24 EDITORIAL TEAM.

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