S’West governments are pushing for the establishment of a Development Commission

James Sowole of Akura

The governors of six states in the southwest approved the recommendation of the committees they set up to establish the Southwest Development Commission (SWDC).

The Technical Committee, established for the implementation of the commission, while submitting a memorandum on the establishment of the body to the Governor of the State of Ondo and to the Chairman of the Forum of Governors of the Southwest Countries, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), called on the governors to use their political influence to ensure the adoption of a law that will provide legal support for the reification of the idea.

The Senate has already adopted a law sponsored by the former governor of the state of Ogun, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, and introduced in November 2019 for a second reading.
It is expected that the Bill on the Establishment of the Southwest Development Commission will act as a catalyst for the development of commercial and industrial potential of the Southwest, receiving and managing funds from the Federation for Agricultural and Industrial Development of the country. region and address any other related security and development challenges and other related issues.

The memorandum was presented to Akeredolu by the President of the Technical Committee and Chief of Staff to the Governor of Osun, Dr. Charles Diji Akinoli.
The board has members, attorneys general and another nominee from six states.
The Advocates General are Sir Charles Titiloye (Ondo), Mr. Femi Akande (Osun), prof. Oyewo Oyelowo, SAN (Oyo), Mr. Gbolahan Adeniran (Ogun), Mr. Olawale Fapohunda (Ekiti) and Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo, SAN (Lagos).

Other members are: Special Adviser to the Governor of Oyo State (Political) Hon. Babatunde Odunyoye, State Commissioner for Finance of Oguna, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, Chairman, Adekunle Ayasin University, Akungba-Akoko Governing Board, dr. Tunji Abayomi, State Commissioner of Finance of Ekiti, Mr. Akin Oyebode and former State Commissioner of Finance of Lagos, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi.
Presenting the report, Aquinola said the memorandum consisted of an expanded report dealing with various provisions of the law for the proposed Southwest Development Commission and the observations and comments made around it.

Aquinola said: “What we are presenting today is a joint memorandum, and that is a resolution adopted by all members of the technical committee as a result of this committee’s consideration for future consideration at your level as governor.”

He highlighted some gray areas that have already been discussed and recommendations for governors, adding that two committees and seven other subcommittees have been recommended.
Receiving the report, Akeredolu praised the efforts of the members of the technical committee to reach the memorandum, emphasizing that their election by the governor was justified.

Akeredolu promised that at the level of the Forum of Governors of the Southwest countries, prominent issues such as the seat of the commission and other things would be carefully examined and considered for the benefit of the people in the region.
He thanked the committee for their stance on the Western Nigeria Development Agenda (DAWN) stating that DAWN will continue to exist as a think tank, just as SWDC will provide the necessary base of support.

Asked about the dual membership of the state of Ondo, given his inclusion in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which was initiated by the committee, Akeredolu said: “You have raised the issue of the state of Ondo and the state of NDDC. I assure you that the state of Ondo is part of the southwest. You can’t exclude Ondo from the southwest. This is about our region, not the state of Ondo, which already belongs to another commission like the NDDC. ”
Akeredolu assured the committee that the southwestern governors would meet and forward the memorandum to the National Assembly to help with the ongoing work on the SWDC bill.