A bill for the establishment of the National Development Bank passed second reading at the Senate on Wednesday.
Titled, “A Bill for an Act to Establish the National Development Bank, 2015,” is to merge the Bank of Industry Act, the Bank for Commerce and Industry Act and the National Economic Reconstruction Fund Act, to form the NDB.
Senator Ibrahim Gobir (APC, Gombe-East), who sponsored the bill explained that the rights, interest, obligations and liabilities of the three development finance institutions would be assigned to and vested in the new bank.
The senator said the NDB, as a development finance institution, would seek to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development and improve the quality of life of the people by aiding financial and non-financial investments in the socio-economic infrastructural sectors.
Gobir added that the bill, when passed into law, would be the best antidote for the current economic downturn, “as the bank will be a major driver of the economy, especially in the agriculture and industrial sectors.”
Another bill seeking the establishment of the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies, which would provide for non-military career training for personnel of the Nigerian Army, also passed second reading on Wednesday.
Sponsor of the bill, Senator Kabir Marafa (APC, Zamfara-Central), said the bill, when passed, would provide an enabling law and legal framework for the operations of the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies.
Marafa said the NAITES, which was established almost at the same time as the Airforce Institute of Technology, Kaduna, had progressively developed in terms of structure, student enrolment and relation with its environment, while its counterpart, NAITES, is still lagging behind.
He said, “The reason is the absence of an enabling law that could establish and guide the activities of the institute.
“The bill therefore seeks to address this and other attendant shortcomings.”