All is now set for the establishment of the South West Development Commission, even as Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the South West Governors‘ Forum, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN, on Thursday received the memorandum for the establishment of the body.
The governor noted that Ondo state status in NDDC would not affect her participation in the proposed Southwest Development Commission.
The memorandum was presented to the Governor by the Chairman of Technical Committee and Chief of Staff to the Governor of the state of Osun, Dr. Charles Akinola.
The committee has the Attorneys-General and one other nominated person each from the six states of the South West.
The Attorneys-General include; 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 Oyo State Governor (Political) Hon. Babatunde Odunyoye, Ogun State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, Chairman, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko Governing Council, Dr. Tunji Abayomi, Ekiti State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Akin Oyebode and Lagos State former Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi.
Presenting the report, Akinola said the memorandum submitted to the Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum was made up of an expanded report which looked at the different provisions of the bill for the proposed South west development commission and the observations and comments that have been made around it.
Dr. Akinola said:”What we are presenting today is a joint memorandum which is the resolution that has been adopted by all the technical Committee members as the outcome of this committee’s deliberation for future consideration at your level as Governors.”
He highlighted some grey areas which have been deliberated upon and the recommendations made for the Governors, adding that two committees and seven other sub-committees have been recommended.
The Bill for an Act to establish the South West Development Commission is expected to act as a catalyst to develop the commercial and industrial potentials of the South West, receive and manage funds from allocation of the Federation for the Agricultural and Industrial Development of the South West and any other related educational backwardness as well as security and development challenges and other connected matters. The Bill 2020(SB.167) was sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, APC, Ogun Central.
Receiving the report, Governor Akeredolu saluted the efforts of members of the technical committee at arriving at the memorandum, stressing that their choice by the South west Governors was justifiable.
Governor Akeredolu assured that at the level of the South West Governor’s’ Forum, the highlighted issues such as the headquarters of the commission and the rest will be carefully looked into and deliberated upon for the good of the people of the region.
He thanked the committee on their position on the Development Agenda For Western Nigeria (DAWN) stating that DAWN will continue to exist as a think- tank just as the SWDC will provide the needed support base.
On the issue of dual membership of Ondo State which was raised by the committee, Governor Akeredolu said: ”You raised the issue of Ondo state and NDDC . I can assure you, Ondo State is part of Southwest. You can’t exclude Ondo from the Southwest. This is about our region and not about Ondo State already belonging to another commission like the NDDC.
Governor Akeredolu assured that the Southwest Governors will meet and transmit the memorandum to the National Assembly to help the ongoing work on the SWDC Bill.