17 April 2013, Abuja – Dr. Babangida Aliyu, chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum, NGF, and Niger State governor says the Federal government lacks transparency in the handling of crude oil earnings and this has led to the massive corruption where a few siphon the nations’ commonwealth.
Aliyu also berated the government at the centre for the negative twist in the economic fortunes of the country due to the over-dependence on oil.
The governor in a lead presentation at the Leadership newspapers’ Annual Lecture and Awards ceremony in Abuja, also faulted the government for the absence of accurate data on the daily production of crude oil in the country.
He said “Despite the enormous resources generated from the oil sector, no accurate data is available to present daily production of crude in the country. This has led to corruption and negative twist in the economic fortunes of the country as only a few who control the monopoly siphon our commonwealth.
“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 mainstay of our economy.” Aliyu added
On the the spate of terrorist attack by Islamic insurgents in the North, Aliyu maintained that there is no compulsion in Islam, arguing that a person can be persuaded to convert to Islam through actions but not to the point of saying the person must convert.
He insisted that members of the Boko Haram sect do not represent Islam, do not know and fight for the religion, stressing that members of the sect engaged in things that were anti-Islam.
The governor said: “We must tackle unemployment or we must be ready to tackle one security challenge after another. “If we do not solve actual problems on ground, then another group will succeed them.
In his contribution, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, urged the Federal Government to take its fight against corruption more seriously.
“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.
“What is needed in Nigeria is radical renovation of the country. “We are hearing of billions of dollars being stolen. The people of Nigeria are being deprived of their belongings. “It is no longer a rumour that our 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,” he said.