The states challenged the terms of the bill deeming it not in the interest of the North.
The Kano State Government has opposed some provisions of the proposed the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, that is before the National Assembly.
The State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, made the position of his administration known Tuesday at a two-day public hearing on the bill organised by the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee on PIB for the North -West zone in Kaduna.
Mr. Kwankwaso, in his submission to the committee, headed by Dakuku Peterside, prayed that, in the interest of national unity, equity and fairness, the committee should expunge sections 116, 117 and 118 and other sections mentioned in the bill. He also added that, the major problem of the petroleum industry and indeed the nation in general is the failure to get rid of corruption in citizens private and public lives.
“If we try to adjust by being patriotic, honest and prudent, Nigeria would be a different place to live,” he said.
Mr. Kwankwaso said that Kano State was a good reference point for other states in Nigeria in terms of judicious use of resources for the overall development of the state; adding, “Our revolutionary achievements in the areas of education, infrastructural development, human capacity building, women and youth empowerment and general improvement in our service delivery are clear testimony to the fact that states can record tremendous achievements by taking a leaf out of Kano State’s book.”
The governor said that the secret behind Kano government’s success is its policy of zero tolerance for corruption and embezzlement of public funds as well as adopting principles of honesty, commitment, patriotism.
Also in his submission to the committee, a prominent northern elite, Tanko Yakasai, kicked against the bill, saying that 34 years ago the revenue that the North contributed is more than that of the South. He stressed that there is nothing like oil-producing states simply because God has endowed Nigeria with oil.
The Kaduna State government also kicked against the bill. The government’s position was made known by its representative, Hauwa Sani. She said issue of host community in the bill is not even supposed to come up; also, that the issue of excessive powers given to the minister in the bill must be addressed.
Other participating stakeholders at the occasion including the All Northern People’s Union, which described the bill as fraudulent and unnecessary; saying it is not in the interest of the North.
The PIB, during its first reading at the Senate, pitched the lawmakers along ethnic divide.