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Deregulation without legal backing unconstitutional, says Mudiaga-Odje

UGHELLI—A constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Dr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje, has said deregulation without any law authorizing same was unconstitutional, null and void .

Consequently, he said deregulation in the absence of social security and amenities would impoverish the people.

Odje, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday, said:  “In Nigeria, prices of items never ever come down; they always go up.  Deregulation will lead to pandemic poverty and economic enslavement of the masses.  Deregulation will fail as long as corruption remains unchallenged by our society.

“Corruption has marred nearly all government policies in this dispensation. We are not only fighting to revamp our oil sector, but indeed fighting the hydra-headed scourge and effects of corruption on the mainstay of our economy and expropriation of the natural resources of the people of the Niger Delta by the Nigerian state.

“It is still with that mighty pen that we proclaim in anger, rather than sorrow, that Nigerians have never had it so bad in the oil sector since its political independence 49 years ago.  The severity of the damage caused to the oil sector can be underscored by the terrible long queues of vehicles at filling stations and the boom of illegal outlets (black market) for commercial sale of petroleum products in the country.

“In the Delta area of Nigeria, Jerrycans of fuel line both sides of the roads and highways as if they were selling ordinary Garri! It is still going on with catastrophic rapidity . The vestiges of this oil related catastrophy are still with us today at a more or less degree.

“It is this bizarre situation, according to the federal government, that led it to propose a full deregulation of the downstream oil sector with effect from November 1, 2009.  The federal government has taken steps in that direction by setting up an Implementation Committee of the Deregulation of Downstream Sector, chaired by Minister of Finance, Dr. Mansur Mulktar.


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