By Emeka Mamah
Kaduna â€” The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, has commended the Federal Government over its decision to carry out a comprehensive audit of the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
This was contained in a statement issued at the end of its National Working Committee, NWC, meeting in Kaduna yesterday and signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani.
It, however, raised alarm over what it described as dwindling revenue accruing from the sale of oil to the three tiers of government for sometime now due to sharp practices by officials of the oil industry.
Sani further said ACF could not establish the veracity of the reportsÂ of tension in Kaduna State following President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s appointment of Mohammed Namadi Sambo as Vice President, blaming the situation on the media.Â
According to the forum, lack of transparency and accountability in the operation of the NNPC has kept the government in the dark about the actual revenue from the sale of oil, adding that the situation is serious and must be addressed forthwith.
â€œIt is evident that for a long time, the record of production and of revenue from crude oil sales have remained unknown to our government due to sharp practices by officials in the oil industry.
â€œThe forum, therefore, welcomes the decision of the president to audit the accounts of the NNPC with a view to ensuring accountability and transparency in the oil industry. The situation is serious and must be addressed forthwith.
â€œGovernments at all levels ought to see the need to embrace better and more effective taxation policies if they are to deliver on their responsibilities. Sole dependence on money from sale of crude oil is as short-sighted as it is dangerous.â€
Effective means of taxation
It suggested that as a way of improving their revenue bases, the three tiers of government should put in place better and effective means of taxation if they hope to have enough money to deliver on their promises to the electorate.
On tension in Kaduna
On the alleged tension in Kaduna State following the appointment of the former Governor Sambo as Vice President, the ACF blamed the media and those it said were not interested in peace as working hands-in-glove to cause strife in the state.
â€œThe attention of the committee was drawn to speculations and rumours of tension said to be caused by the change of leadership in Kaduna State.
â€œAfter a long consideration of the issue, the meeting concluded that there was little evidence to suggest that any tension has arisen along ethnic and religious lines in Kaduna as a result of the changes.
â€œOn the contrary, what was evident was desperation on the part of a few unpatriotic and evil minded individuals, working in collaboration with certain people in the media to promote crisis and strife.
â€œThe ACF deplores the action of these people. It appeals to managers of the mass media to exercise more caution and better judgment in their treatment of stories especially wild stories that are spread through unidentified text messages,â€ the statement said.
The ACF, however, kept mute on the alarm raised by the state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Tambari Yabo Mohammed, on the plan by some mischief makers to plunge the state into crisis.