By; AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The proposal arising from the bill by Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya, (APC Kano South) for establishment of Federal Roads Authority (FRA) for the maintenance of over thirty four thousand kilometres of roads in the country while Federal Roads Fund (FRF) sourcing for the fund is step in the right direction.
A statement jointly signed by Suleiman Balarabe and Mustapha Abdul Mubee, who are Senior Legislative Aide and PA respectively to Senator Gaya, reacting to a national newspaper report from the office of the senator over the bills said that Nigerians have been over burdened with economic recovery plans of the APC-led government, therefore any criticism of the bills shall be anti-people.
The statement added that agreement between the government and Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) that five naira (N5) should be set aside from a litre of fuel sold at (145) for roads maintenance in the country shall go a long way alleviating suffering of Nigerians not increasing pump price of petroleum products.
It explained that if Senate was advocating for increase in pump price, we wouldn’t have proposed that the N5 that has not been paid to Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), should be paid to Federal Roads Authority (FRA).
The statement further said that it was Senator Gaya that stood firmly with a motion that the pump price is reversed in the country when it was first increased to100 naira in 2007 insisting and ensured that its reversed to N65.
The statement further explained that if Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya who is the Vice-president (Africa) of the Inter-parliamentary Union and chairman Senate Committee on Works was campaigning for increase of pump price, he wouldn’t propose the Federal Road Funds Bill. It said that it is uncharitable report to the contrary on the senator and the committee he is heading to propose hardship on Nigerians.
The statement also regrets that a national newspaper of Daily Trust’s standing could go to press with such a report without proper checking. It said that news from a reputable newspaper should be an authority therefore to read from such a reputable paper some fallacies attests that our entire system is on trial.
It is also regrettable that if Senator Gaya is an advocate of fuel price increase in the country, he wouldn’t have initiated the bill in the first place.
The statement further explained that instead of Federal Roads Authority (Est Etc) Bill (SB. 218) the paper reported National Roads Authority bill which is misleading.
It advised reporters and editors to always inform the people the correct happenings because they are partners in government being the fourth estate of the realm. It enjoins NUJ and the Press Council of Nigeria to always ensure that ethics are adhered to at all times.