18 November 2012

Nigeria: Kwankwaso - 19 Northern Governors to Meet on PIB

Kano — As the National Assembly continues work on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the governors of the 19 northern states have resolved to meet and scrutinise the bill with a view to determining its implications for the region.

Kano State Governor Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso who disclosed the planned meeting Saturday , said the state chief executives were set to deliberate on the bill to know its benefits to the region.

Kwankwaso spoke at the commissioning of the first Serbian General Consulate office in Kano and the appointment of a former national assembly member, Alhaji Faruk Adamu Aliyu as the Honorary Consulate of the republic.

Confirming the controversy trailing the PIB, the governor said he was uncomfortable with the bill as it affects the north given his level of understanding of the nation's revenue sharing formula. He said "as a former member of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), former member of National Assembly and a former minister and indeed a serving governor, I have vast knowledge on what is been shared to all the states".

Frowning at the existing revenue sharing formula, Kwankwaso noted that "in this context, many other states specifically from the South south are today ahead of northern states in terms of incomes from the federation account, and this in earnest means that some are getting richer while others are getting poorer by the day with the people wallowing in devastating poverty."

Stressing the determination of the political stakeholders in the north to make case for the region, Kwankwaso said "with regard to PIB, we in the north are keenly watching and we will not allow our region to be plunged into yet another uncertain future as we will do all we could to make sure that there is equity that will guarantee a sense of belonging to every citizenry."

He lamented that the northern region today is at the lowest political ebb, stressing the more reasons why stakeholders from the region need to sit on a roundtable to make their stand known on the PIB and other sundry matters in the polity.

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