From DESMOND MGBOH, Kano
Indications that the North may contest some aspects of the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB), currently before the National Assembly emerged at the weekend. Worried that the South Souht allegedly enjoys so much allocation from the Federation Account, Kano State Governor, Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso said that governors of the 19 Northern states would meet to take a closer look at the bill and take a stand guided by their interests. He gave the hint yesterday at the commissioning of the first Serbian General Consulate Office in Kano. He said that the governors would deliberate on the proposed bill to know how it will benefit the region.
“We will soon come together on a roundtable to make our stand known on the PIB and very many other sundry matters”, he said. The governor said that having served as member of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a federal parliamentarian and Minister of Defence, he has sufficient knowledge that what is shared to the oil producing states from the Federation Account was staggering. Consequently, he said that they do not deserve any additional money or advantage.
He argued that states in the South-South get more than their northern counterparts from incomes emanating from the Federation Account, saying that it implies that some states in the country were getting richer while others get poorer by the day, with their people wallowing in devastating poverty. He said: “We in the North are keenly watching (the development) and we will not allow our region to be plunged into yet another uncertain future. We will do all we can to make sure that there is equity and sense of belonging to every citizen.” He regretted that the North was passing a phase of its lowest political level ever, and insisted that the situation should not be allowed to continue.
It would be recalled that Dr Kwankwaso was in the frontline for the abolition of the Onshore/Offshore law in the country. The governor applauded the opening of the Serbian Consulate office in Kano state and assured that the office would be put to maximum benefit for the state and the country. Two former Heads of State, General Muhammadu Buhari and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, attended the event.