By Chizoba Okeke/Anastasia Agunwa/Gloria Abugu

Awka, March 10, 2021 (MOI) Anambra State House of Assembly has passed into law, a bill for the establishment of Anambra State Riverine Areas Development Commission to address flooding and ecological problems in the riverine areas.

The state legislators passed the bill after third reading on the floor of the House on March 9.

The lawmakers took turns to perfect some corrections in the 32-clause bill before it was passed.

The Speaker, Mr Uche Okafor conducted a voice vote on each of the sections of the bill before passage by the House.

“Having considered the third reading of the bill – Anambra State Riverine Areas Development Commission Establishment Law 2021 and to provided for other related matters, the bill is hereby passed into law,’’ Mr Okafor said.

The speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Pius Udo to forward a clean copy of the bill to Gov. Willie Obiano for his assent.

The commission will be solely empowered to tackle ecological and environmental problems that arise from the perennial flooding of the riverine areas in the state.

The commission will be saddled with the responsibility of receiving and managing funds allocated by the state government, local and international donors for the intervention, resettlement, rehabilitation of flood victims and affected communities.

It shall also formulate policies and guidelines as well as conceive, plan and implement projects and programmes for the development of riverine areas.

“The Commission will identify factors inhibiting the development of the riverine areas and assist the local government in the formulation and implementation of policies to ensure sound and efficient management of the resources of the riverine communities.

“It shall be responsible for preparing master plan and schemes designed to promote the development of riverine areas.

“It shall also assess and report on any project funded or carried out in the riverine areas by government and non-governmental agencies to ensure that funds for such projects are properly utilised.

“It shall liaise with interested corporations on how to work in the riverine areas to avoid hazards associated with operating in such flood prone areas on matters of pollution regulation control,” the bill read. Mr Somtochukwu Udeze, member representing Ogbaru II Constituency and sponsor of the bill thanked his colleagues for their scrutiny and input. (MOI)

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