The Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has declared that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, would weaken the Northern economy.
CNG said the PIB would have a devastating effect on the economy of the North because residents would be forced to buy fuel at “disabling inflated prices.”
Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the group’s spokesman, made the remark while cautioning the National Assembly against passing the Bill.
In a statement, Suleiman said: “The CNG, having been convinced that the Bill, if passed and implemented would be the final nail that will permanently seal the fate of the North economically and socially, hereby resolves to: Categorically declare the continuation of the process that may lead to the passage of the PIB as another clandestine move to further weaken the northern economy and therefore unacceptable.
“Demand the immediate halt of the process for the PIB in its present construction as it would invariably impact negatively on the livelihood of northern communities especially those of the far northeast and northwest who would be forced to buy fuel at a disabling inflated price.”
He warned that lawmakers of Northern extraction in the National Assembly would be held responsible for the suffering in the region if PIB is passed.
Suleiman also called for investigation into an alleged deals between a private refinery operator in Lagos State and some lawmakers.
He said: “Warn all northern representatives in the National Assembly that they will be held responsible for the mass sufferings that the PIB will force on northerners if they allow it to pass.
“To demand a comprehensive investigation into the alleged underhanded deals between the private operator of the refinery in Lagos and some members of the National Assembly to influence the success of the Bill which would hand the total monopoly of production, transportation, marketing and more dangerously, pricing of petroleum products.
“To invite the attention of all segments of northern leadership and the credible section of northern elders and all civil society organisations in the North to rise to defend the people of the region by rejecting the PIB.
“Declare that the CNG will not hesitate to go to any length to challenge the passage of the Bill including taking legal action.”