From FRED ITUA, Abuja
Governor of Niger State and Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum, Dr. Babaginda . Aliyu, yesterday came hard on the Federal Government, accusing it of lack of transparency over the accurate data of daily production of crude oil in the country. Aliyu, who spoke as the guest lecturer at Leadership Newspaper’s annual lecture and awards ceremony, said despite the enormous resources generated from the oil sector, the country had nothing significant to show for it.
“Despite the enormous resources generated from the oil sector, no accurate data is available to present daily production of crude in the country,” Muazu alleged. “This has led to corruption and negative twist in the economic fortunes of the.” Speaking further, Aliyu said: “The exact figures are only known to the people involved as transparency is limited. Instead of economic gains for the ordinary Nigerians, crude oil discovery in Nigeria appears to be more of a problem as it has killed agriculture which was the main stay of our economy.”
Speaking on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently before the National Aseembly, Aliyuu asked: “Do we deserve the kind of tension, apprehension and anxieties that follow some national issues in the country. Why should politics of revenue generation and sharing or the PIB generate so much passion in this country today. “This is happening because of our penchant for cake sharing rather than cake baking and lack of confidence by the citizens in the process and motives behind some of the policies.”
In his remarks, Cardinal John Onaiyekan urged the Federal Government to take its fight against corruption more seriously. According to him, Nigeria could only record meaningful development if the government tackled the official corruption in the country. “Two of the obstacles before us which we must resolutely confront are corruption and insecurity. When we talk about corruption, I’m not talking about small bribes, but big, legal and official corruption in high places. “We are hearing of billions of dollars being stolen. The people of Nigeria are being deprived of their belongings. It is not longer a rumour that out monies are being stolen.
This stealing must stop. No more cover up or pretence. Stolen resources must be recovered and put back in the places where they’ve been taken from. We should pardon our thieves but they must return the loot,” Onaiyaken said. Onaiyekan also came out in strong defence of the Nigeria, dispelling rumours that the country was gradually degenerating into a failed state. Bola Ahmed Tinubu who made a brief contribution advised that the country should reverse to the first national anthem.
According to him, the anthem represented what the country stood for. “Let’s go back to our first national anthem. All we are talking about is to serve the nation. Let’s make the effort to go back to that national anthem. Let’s sing it from the heart and not from the tone,” Tinubu advised.