The Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2018 has been read a second time in the State Assembly.

Opening debate on the bill, Leader of the House, Hon. Peter Pereotubo Akpe said the bill seeks to amend Section 91 of the original law to give the tribunal the jurisdiction to adjudicate on complaints or appeals concerning or arising from actions, decisions or activities of the Board or the Commissioner with respect to development permits approvals, rejection, revocation, alteration and land use.

The tribunal’s jurisdiction according to Hon. Akpe shall also include the preparation of master or district plans, layouts, schemes, disputes arising from compensation, offences, enforcement and all other matters affecting or arising from physical planning and development in the state.

The second amendment sought, Hon. Akpe further explained is that the prosecution of offences under this law may be commenced and undertaken in the State High Court or any Magistrate Court in the state.

The Leader of the House said that the amendments were necessitated by the several challenges the state has had to grapple with especially in a bid to collect revenues from multinationals in the state.

In his contribution, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Ingobere Abraham said the amendment will help curt6ail prolonged litigation and save a lot of costs.

The bill was committed to House Committee on Physical and Town Planning to report back in one week.