Housing & DevelopmentNewsNigeriaAnambra Assembly Passes Riverine Development Commission Bill into Law


Anambra State House of Assembly today passed the Riverine Areas Development Commission-RIVADEC, into law. A bill for a law to establish the Riverine Area Development Commission was submitted in the year 2020, by the Chief sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Somto Udeze representing Ogbaru II constituency, as a private member bill.

With its passage today, the Anambra 7th Assembly has only passed two private member bills throughout its life span of almost two years. The first private member bill passed by the House was sponsored by Hon. Nonso Okafor, representing Nnewi North constituency.

According to the explanation at the commencement of the RIVADEC Bill, the Riverine Areas Development Commission Bill is to be “saddled with the responsibility of, among other things, receiving and managing funds allocated by the state government, local and international donors for the intervention, resettlement, rebuilding of farming and fishing activities, reconstruction of roads, houses, businesses, regulating investments of the victims of the perennial flooding in the riverine areas, as well as tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy, ecological problems and related environmental or developmental challenges in the riverine areas of Anambra state and other related matters”. This, in essence, summarizes the intent and purposes of the Bill.

Flooding has become a regular occurrence in many parts of Anambra state, even in Nnewi and Awka the state capital, but especially communities located in riverine areas. The Bill, therefore, captured a total of nine local governments exposed to seasonal flooding and the local governments captured are as follows; Anambra East, Anambra West, Awka North, Anyamelum, Ihiala, Ogbaru, Onitsha North, Onitsha South and Oyi local government areas.

All nine local government areas are at risk of intense flooding, which usually leads to loss of lives, properties, farm produce, among others. Of these nine local governments, at least five are reputed for exploits in farming. During the seasonal flooding, farmers in these areas often lose their crops to flood water. Residents also often lose their homes.

The Bill also provided that the Commission shall have its headquarter at Otuocha, Anambra East local government, just as it provided that its Managing Director shall be from one of the local governments that made up the Commission.

It is expected that when the passed Bill has been assented to, by the governor, the law will then provide systematized approach to government’s response to the challenges posed by seasonal flooding in that part of Anambra state.

Ebuka Onyekwelu (Staff Writer)
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