FUEL SUBSIDY PROBE: ALIYU CALLS FOR PUNISHMENT OF CULPRITS
As Nigerians eagerly await the report of the House of Representatives' ad-hoc committee, which probed the fuel subsidy removal, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger State has said all those indicted by the committee's report should face the full wrath of the law. The governor said those found to have collected money without providing subsidy must pay back the money and be prosecuted.
Declaring open a seminar on 'Good Governance and Post-fuel Subsidy Appraisal,' organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in Minna, Niger State, Governor Aliyu described the fuel subsidy diversion as 'a wastage; it is a corruption, it is stealing, which should not be allowed to go unpunished.' He said the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) agreed that fuel subsidy should be removed because on a monthly basis, deductions were made from the federation account in the name of fuel subsidy whereas fuel was not getting to the ordinary Nigerians at the official pump price.
Aliyu also condemned the spate of terrorism in the country, saying it had contributed to the near-collapse of the national economy. He said he did not believe that poverty was responsible for the cases of terrorism in the country because poorer countries of the world did not have similar incidents, adding that 'we have allowed foreigners to train our people without our knowledge. We must find solution to it (terrorism), otherwise, we will be groping in the dark for a very long time.' Aliyu said with the vast resources of the country it was possible for the country to give free education to all its children from primary to the university level if these resources were properly harnessed but regretted that a lot of wastages still occurred in the management of the economy.
He stressed the need for government at all levels to be accountable to the people because 'government money is public money, money spent the public must know.' Director-General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, in an address, said the organisation was now promoting interfaith dialogue as a way of bringing about religious peace and harmony in the country. He added that the NOA was also now promoting the adoption of the second stanza of the National Anthem as the official national prayer.