01 August 2014, Abuja – Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources ( Downstream ), Senator Magnus Abe, on Tuesday expressed the fears that the over-reliance on oil by the Nigerian government and the current fight over resource control in the country could split the nation if not handled with care.
Abe, the representative of the Rivers South East Senatorial District at the upper chamber, who stated this in an interview with journalists, therefore advised that, instead of fighting over the percentage from oil resources, Nigeria leaders should harness other natural resources which remained untapped across the country.
He said, “What is getting the most attention is oil. If you sit with people who think and analyse what we are doing in this country, what we are wasting in this country, what we can convert what we are not touching in this country into, what we can get our citizens to do, you would be amazed on how far we are sliding.
“If we are not careful, this country can blow up and split into different parts, all over the issue of oil and at the end of the day even those who think they will gain from that will loose.”
He, however, expressed the hope that Nigeria will do better as a united, progressive, democratic country, where everybody’s right is respected, and where people are treated fairly and justly.
Abe noted each region of the country should be rewarded according to their contributions based on the natural resources in their area, to the federation account.
He said, “If you contribute something you will be rewarded for your contribution and others are encouraged to contribute than bicker and fight and end up destroying ourselves.”
“If you talk to me two months ago, I use to tell people that Nigerians want to live together, but as am sitting down now cannot say that with same conviction I said it then.
“My position on resource control is very straight forward, I think the issue challenging this country is beyond the issue of resource control or rather the issue of resource generation to run this country.
“What we are currently having in Nigeria is sharing economy where everybody depends on whatever comes from oil.”
The senator lamented the quality of education in the country and stated that the standard had fallen and that the quality of lives of citizens are falling.
– The Punch