A bill seeking the establishment of the Project Development Agency (PDA), has been approved for second reading in the Senate.

This followed discussions on the general principles of the bill by senators in plenary on Tuesday.

Discussion was led by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Frank Ibezim (APC, Imo North) during plenary.

The bill, which was read for the first time on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, is titled ‘Bill to Establish the Project Development Agency, 2023’.

Leading the debate, Senator Ibezim said the proposed legislation seeks to give legal backing to an existing agency, the Project Development Institute (PRODA) in Enugu, which has been in existence for more than 40 years.

“The lack of legal backing has been a huge setback to having viable industrial research and a growing economy in Nigeria,” the lawmaker argued.

He also said the bill, when signed into law, would make the agency mandated to, among other things, conduct research in engineering, machinery and equipment development.

Supporting the bill, Senator Suleiman Abdu Kwari (APC, Kaduna North), said the bill was apt, adding that all submissions for the bill were very timely.

For his art, Senate President Ahmad Lawan subsequently referred the bill to the Senate Science and Technology Committee for further legislative action and to report to the plenary in four weeks.