BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna
The apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed worries over the present fuel scarcity ahead of the yuletide anf called the NNPC to carry out thorough investigation with the view to untavel the remote cause of the scarcity.
A communique issued at the end of the forums meeting which held at the headquarters in Kaduna presided over by the Vice Chairman Sen. Abubakar Gerei expressed deep concern over the present fuel scarcity being experienced nationwide, resulting in long queues in petrol filling stations which cause untold hardship to commuters and motorists, especially in this Yuletide period.
The communique signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the forum Muhammaf Ibrahim Biu said, the Minister of State Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, have in their responses to the situation given assurances to Nigerians that there is enough stock of petroleum, yet the situation has not normalized.
ACF noted that since the increase in pump price of fuel in the last two years, there has been steady supply of petrol in the filling stations and wonders why the scarcity now.
ACF therefore calls on the management of the NNPC to thoroughly investigate the remote and immediate causes of this fuel scarcity and take concrete measures to restore normalcy, considering the importance of the oil industry to the economy.
“Furthermore, NNPC may consider extending its searchlight on possible sabotage both within and without the management in order to fish out those that are bent on derailing the effort of the Federal Government in this regard”.
The communique also observed with great concern the lackadaisical attitudes of some States governments towards accessing the Universal Basic Education Funds as provided by the Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC), particularly in the North.
“The UBEC funds are meant to assist in the development of primary education.
Considering the low literacy level and the large number of children that are out of school and roaming the streets, the situation calls for concerted efforts by the states concern to take concrete steps and pay their counterpart funding in order to access the available funds. In order to raise the standard of education as the bedrock of human development,
ACF therefore calls on the Northern States that are yet to access the funds to do so. “Those States that been able to access the funds, we urge them to judiciously utilize it. We cannot continue to lament over under development when we are reluctant to make good of given opportunities to improve the well being of our people.
“ACF further urges the States government to make adequate budgetary provisions for the development of education in terms infrastructure as well as enforce legislation on compulsory education for all children of school age, especially girl child.
“The meeting notes with grave concern the alarming rate of illegal drug consumption and addiction among the youths and women in the country, particularly in the North. The unsavory number of youths and women involved in this illegal consumption of drugs is frightening, considering the dire health effects such consumption would have on the future generations of Nigerians.
“ACF therefore appreciates the recent call by the Northern Traditional Rulers on governments at all levels and other relevant agencies to take necessary steps and stem out this menace. The meeting also directed its Committee on Drug Abuse to critically examine the remote and immediate causes of this havoc and suggest practical solutions to the problem”.