The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has asked the Federal Government to rehabilitate and revamp the four refineries currently in comatose and also block all forms of smuggling of petroleum products outside the country.
The group also advised the government to desist from considering the removal of petrol subsidy as it is one of the benefits a common Nigerian gets from the government.
According to the statement signed by its Director, Strategic Communications, Samaila Musa, and made available to journalists in Abuja, on Wednesday, commended the government for suspending the removal of petrol subsidy.
The CNG also commended the National Assembly for their intervention in ensuring that the interest of the Nigerian people prevail.
According to the statement“As stakeholders in Nigerian Project, the CNG advises the Federal Government to never contemplate removal of subsidy again as it is only direct benefit that many poor Nigerians enjoy from the Government”.
In its recommendations, CNG said “that the Federal Government should block all the leakages through which selfish politicians and civil servants corner public resources for their personal aggrandizement.
“That the Federal Government should use its security architecture to block smuggling the fuel just like it does to stop the importation of rice into the country. It is being done for rice; it is doable for fuel too.
“That Government should rehabilitate and revamp our four comatose national refineries that were jettisoned. The four refineries have a maximum capacity of refining 450, 000 barrels per day.
“The government should apply some austerity measures to cut some unnecessary expenses, purchases, travels and tours within and outside the country. Foreign trips with large entourage should also be discouraged by the presidency in order to set example for others to emulate.
“Ministries, Departments, Parastatals and Agencies of the government should equally apply some austerity measures.
“There are so many past and present cases of corrupt practices by politicians and civil servants. The government can recover some reasonable fund here to finance its activities.
“National Assemblies should also halt budget padding and reduce cost of running the legislative arm as their necessary patriotic sacrifices.
“In view of the current difficult situation in the country, the government must not extend the frontiers of hardship, devastation, joblessness and unemployment on the powerless Nigerians”.
The Coalition said that any unpopular policies such as removal of fuel subsidy will result to further worsening of our security situation and endanger people’s means of survival.
“Nigerians bear the brunt of economic downturn through falling standard of living; poor infrastructure; falling standard of education and the neglected healthcare system.
“They live in abject poverty and squalor amidst elite greed, flamboyance, spendthrift, corrupt practices and wasteful luxurious adventures.
“CNG is therefore closely monitoring the situation as it will never support any policy, pronouncement, action or programme that is detrimental to the people go unchallenged.
“We hereby use this medium to also inform all CNG zonal/state Coordinators and student wing to stand down on all planned protest”, the statement added.