The Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industries Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) has appealed for speedy presidential assent to the Southeast Development Commission Bill recently passed by the National Assembly.
The Director General of the chamber, Mr Emeka Okereke made the appeal on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu.
It required the concurrence of the House of Representatives and presidential assent to become law and the lower chamber on May 16 also passed the bill.
Okereke commended the lawmakers for rising above tribal and religious sentiments in their consideration of the bill.
He said that the spirit of the bill was in tandem with the social and economic needs of the region which was in dire need of development.
“The zone is not doing so well compared to others in the country. We hope that the commission will facilitate the development of the area,” he said.
He said the needs that necessitated the bill were the same that brought about other regional development commissions in the country.
“Therefore, we hope that President Muhammadu Buhari will waste no time to sign the bill into law to bring the zone at par with others,” he said.
Okereke said there were critical areas in the region begging for the attention of such commission.
He said the ecological challenges of the zone required urgent attention, adding that erosion was threatening human existence and agriculture in the area.
The DG said that other development needs of the area which the commission could look into when fully operational, abound.
“A dry port and a sea port have been cited in Aba and Onitsha respectively but not yet operational. The Owerri CargoAirport as well as the cargo section of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport is not functioning optimally.
“Something has to be done to make them function effectively,” Okereke said.