President Bola Tinubu

President Tinubu, South East Development Commission Bill and the Igbo Question? History beckons” JAGABAN ‘ and APC government By Prince Clinton Uba

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The South East Development Commission Bill has just scaled the hurdles of the National Assembly. This is not the first time the bill would be introduced to the National Assembly but the last attempts did not see the light of the day.

President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Tinubu

Precisely on December 21, 2023, the House of Representatives, at its committee of the whole chaired by the deputy speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, who is also the sponsor of the Bill, unanimously passed it for 3rd reading and sent it to the Senate for concurrence.

Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senate President

Subsequently, the Senate has also passed the Bill. The South East Development Commission (SEDC), is to be charged with the responsibility to receive and manage funds from allocation of the federation account for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the region as a result of the effect of the civil war.

RT. Hon. Ben Kalu, House of Rep.Deputy Speaker
RT. Hon. Ben Kalu, House of Rep.Deputy Speaker

Both chambers took the decision while considering the bill’s clauses at its committees of the whole, chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Kalu and the Senate President, Sen. Akpabio. However, one must give credits to the Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the House of Representatives Speaker, Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and especially to the Member, representing Bende Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu and the current Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives for his pragmatic approach, power of advocacy and seamless interpersonal relationship, because without these attributes, the bill may not have had the accelerated hearing and support it got from both the green and red chambers.

The merits of the South East Development Commission as documented when established among other functions, shall “conceive, plan and implement, in accordance with the set rules and regulations, projects and programmes for the sustainable development of the South East States in the field of transportation including roads, health, education, employment, agriculture, industrialization, housing and urban development, water supply, electricity and telecommunications; cause the South East States to be surveyed in order to ascertain measures which are necessary to promote its physical and socio-economic development.

It will implement all the measures approved for the development of the South East States by the Federal Government and the member States of the Commission; identify factors inhibiting the development of the South East States and assist the member States in the formulation and implementation of policies to ensure sound and efficient management of the resources of the South East States; assess and report on any project being funded or carried out in the South East States by mineral extracting and mining companies, oil and gas producing companies, and any other company including non-governmental organisations and ensure that funds released for such projects are properly utilized.

Other functions Include, “ to tackle ecological and environmental problems that arise from the extraction and mining of solid mineral, exploration of oil mineral in the South East States and advise the Federal Government and the member States on the prevention and control of oil spillages, gas flaring and environmental pollution; liaise with the various solid mineral extraction and mining companies and oil and gas prospecting and producing companies on all matters of pollution prevention and control; and execute such other works and perform such other functions which in the opinion of the Commission are required for the sustainable development of the South East States and its peoples.”

In his remarks after the bill’s passage, the Senate President Godswill Akpabio, said once the bill becomes law, it will bring development and the region’s fears will be addressed.


Just like the merits outlined in the bill, the South East Development Commission (SEDC) is a response to the challenges of sustainable development in South Eastern Nigeria. The commission seeks to create a positive business environment that encourages dynamic infrastructural development and sustainable economic growth, by using innovative and market-based approach, to harness the knowledge and expertise of the private sector; the resources and experience of the public sector; passion and network of civil societies to address key issues in South-East development.

SEDC is about building something that will last. It is about the freedom to set own terms. It is about the place to be called home, that will aim to draw strength from vibrant cities and towns, for vast economic potentials, and amazing people with brilliant minds.

It is on record that the South East states were not favourably disposed to the APC led administration of President Mohammed Buhari because, many Igbos felt that there was no Igbo representation in the Buhari Presidency and most infrastructural developments were denied the Igbos. But, the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Presidency is offering hope to the South East states because, he is more liberal democrat and his approaches so far has been seen by the good people of South East extraction as ” RENEWED HOPE”, which is the mantra of his administration.

No wonder President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC is harvesting more followers in the South East states that may turn the table and lead to electoral victory of APC, come 2027 if he continues in this trajectory.

Therefore, with the signing into law of the South East Development Commission Bill, as expected by President Bola Tinubu, popularly called JAGABAN, it will make more inroads into the South East states and harvest more supporters for APC in all the five states of the South East.

For Ndigbo, a group that rewards good gesture, all eyes are on Mr. President and he will not like to miss this opportunity that will breed acceptability, economic and political cohesion.

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