Nigeria News

PIB: Stakeholders Berate North-east Govs for Neglecting their Views

Nigerians and other resource persons at the North-east venue of the public hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) have criticised what they described as the overbearing roles and imposition of personal views of northern governors on the bill.

The stakeholders who said the position of the northern governors was not in line with realities of the people of the region, expressed displeasure at certain positions being canvassed by the governors.
Other top politicians and opinion leaders of the region were cautioned over the danger of not giving adequate sensitisation to members of the public on the importance of the PIB.

The 19 northern governors were equally urged to avoid taking any conclusive position on PIB without giving the masses the opportunity to contribute to it.

These and other positions were made known yesterday at the last day of the North-east public hearing on PIB organised by the House of Representatives which was held in Gombe State.

Some persons who spoke at the forum on behalf of the six states in the region comprising Adamawa, Bauchi, Taraba, Gombe, Yobe and Borno States said they were not part of certain positions canvassed by the state governors.

They accused the governors of allegedly hoarding information on the bill from the people in a deliberate attempt to present a joint position that would eventually favour the political class alone.
In their separate reactions, members of civil society organisations across the six states condemned a development where their respective governors sent representatives to present position documents to the PIB committee.

Amadu Musa who spoke on behalf of the groups said the position presented at the forum by the governors was narrow-end input.

He described the development as another avenue to show how the political class in the region had taken the people for granted.

Their reactions came shortly after Bauchi State Head of Service, Mr. Abdon Gin, and Permanent Secretary (Political) in Adamawa State, Mr. Ibrahim Emmanuel, submitted their states' positions respectively at the event.

Though the duo did not make public the contents of the documents, investigations however confirmed their positions were already taken six months ago by the state governors without consultations with their people.

It was learnt that the northern governors are working on a joint position regarding a strong opposition to the 10 per cent derivation to oil producing states.

They are also said to be sponsoring a campaign for reduction in powers of Minister of Petroleum Resources as contained in Sections 5 and 6 of the PIB.
Corroborating their position, Gombe State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Ado Solomon, urged politicians not to speak for the masses on PIB.

According to him "Governors were able to sit and take positions without giving voice to the people. I consider their position as government position and wonder why the people have no access to the PIB.
"We should challenge the political leadership in this region to give a chance in this exercise. Majority of our people are voiceless in cases like this. It won't be wrong to have various positions with divergent views and not only that of the government."

Chairman of the public hearing in the zone, Hon. Ali Ahmed however allayed their fears and reassured them that the essence of the exercise was to collect contrary views outside that of the government.

To achieve this, he added that the secretariat of the committee would remain opened in Gombe till end of this week to allow ordinary Nigerians make inputs.

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