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PIB: Oppourtunity for NASS to redeem its image

By Dele Sobowale
“Traitors….are an unfortunate class of people. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be traitors. They conspire to bust up a country; they fail, and they are traitors. They bust her, and they become statesmen (and women) and heroes (and heroines). (Translated from original).
Artemis Ward, 1872, in “The Tower of London.”

Some traitors are planning to bust up Nigeria. No, I am not talking about the bomb throwers. Oddly enough, those people, deadly as they are, will not really bust up this country. They will certainly send a few people to early graves; but they will not succeed in breaking up Nigeria.

The real traitors are “decent people” who will be regarded as pillars of society in any country. The WikiLeaks have already provided us into some insight into their mode of operation. But, as usual, unlike most people, I have gone further to sniff out where the traitors are likely to pounce on Nigeria next.

As you are probably aware, the WikiLeaks have told us that the International Oil Companies (IOCs), have been employing Nigerian spies to do their dirty work for them; to ensure that decisions at the topmost levels of government go in their favour – even if it is against the national interest.

They have succeeded handsomely to the extent that two of our present crop of ministers are suspected to have worked for them in that respect for years. It is even feared, with a great deal of justification, that the two ministers were promoted by IOCs for their present positions. In other words, the Nigerian nation has appointed into high office and is maintaining in great style people who are undermining the rest of us. How? Well, through the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), for short, pending in the National Assembly.

PIB is a whale of a bill, going into well over 800 pages. It is doubtful if up to 20 Nigerian lawmakers in the National Assembly have read the entire bill. It is certain that less than 1,000 Nigerians have read it and understand its provisions. Well, what does a Presido do but read what others don’t take the time to read since this bill is probably the most important bill that has gone to the NASS since 2007.

The original bill was the product of Nigerian patriots; people who place the country first irrespective of inducements and/or threats by IOCs – who can be vicious when their individual and collective interests are threatened.  The objective was to transform the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), from a cash guzzling monster to a cash- cow generating millions of jobs for Nigerians. Along the way, it would make Nigerians major stakeholders in their own oil and gas industry – contrary to what obtains now.

Naturally, IOCs would have none of it. They have mounted an attack on the original PIB and have succeeded in getting amendments introduced by traitors in the corridors of power. And, when that was not yielding fruits they spear-headed the appointment of ministers to help the process of betrayal.

But, all is not lost. Senate President David Mark and Speaker Dimeji Bankole can lead NASS in the dying days of the Assembly towards self-redemption. After the well-deserved bashing they have received for jumbo pay and low productivity, they can prove to be, after all, patriotic Nigerians by stepping down this bill until a new NASS which will have four years to determine our fate will have the time to consider it in all its aspects.

I hope this is not too much to ask. Let them do that and everything else is forgiven.

Inec in registration mess
“GSM NUMBER WITHHELD ON REQUEST
To cover their mess, INEC has written a cache which ensures that fingerprint capturing is by-passed. So, whereas they ask people to place their fingers on the scanner, the scanner is actually not taking any fingerprints. So, what we are going to have is glorified manual register. A product not better than what Iwu offered. It’s a BIG SHAME!”

I am not an expert on these gizmos being used by INEC. But, if that text message is true, then, INEC has already messed up the 2011 elections. Professor Jega was quoted by PUNCH saying that “more funds could have made a difference. I can only hope he was misquoted because INEC received every kobo for which request was made. If INEC has now messed up because of inadequate funds, then Prof. Jega had fouled up because he didn’t think deeply enough. Now, he is planning to approach the Presidency and NASS for more money and more time. I wish him luck; he needs it.

Governor Gbenga Daniel must read this-0802-323-1237
Pls, help. Olabisi Onabanjo University is destroying our children. The results of students that finished their degree programmes in the last five years are yet to be released. Isn’t this ridiculous? — Concerned parent.

It is more than ridiculous. It is criminal and there are two culprits – the state government (Governor, State Assembly and Judiciary) and the National Universities Commission (NUC), which should have closed the university.

Still on pensioners woes
“I don’t know whether you are aware that getting refund of NHF contributions by retired civil servants who didn’t take any loan from the Federal Mortgage Bank is like trying to skin a tortoise? Why is FMB suffering pensioners? Please, help.”— Tony Enyinta.

There is no Federal Mortgage Bank to speak of just as there is no Ministry of Education, Works, Housing, Agriculture, No PHCN; all because there is no government to speak of in Nigeria. Who does one appeal to when it is the deaf leading the blind and deaf? But, I will try.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.