By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed concern over the slow pace of work on some federal government projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.
In a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Kaduna, the forum lamented the non-completion of projects like Baro Port Terminal, the Mambilla Power Project, the Kano-Maiduguri Dual Carriage Way, Kano-Lagos Railway, and many others.
The communique signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, called on the government and the National Assembly to appropriate adequate funds in the 2017 budget for the completion of these projects.
The forum also lamented “the abysmally low power generation and erratic power supply being experienced nationwide” and questioned the wisdom behind the privatization of the National Power Holding Company (PHCN) and the capacity of the private entrepreneurs that bought the power generation and distribution outfits.
“The regular excuses of shortage of gas supply, low water level, vandalisation of installations, lack of spare parts etc which have continued to be given as reasons for poor power supply over the years are no longer tenable.
“The new owners of the generation plants and the distribution outfits were expected to have complimented Federal Government huge investments by injecting more funds and expertise that will improve performance at minimum cost to the consumers.
“ACF therefore calls on the Federal Government to take necessary and practical steps that will improve the power supply including reviewing the privatization. Government should also put in place policy framework that will encourage investments in the renewable energy sector, (solar and coal) to compliment the thermal and hydro generating plants” the ACF said.
The forum further expressed dismay over the recurrent ethno- religious and farmers- herdsmen clashes in Kaduna, Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Nasarawa and other states and resolved to visit the affected communities to commiserate with them over the unfortunate killings and destruction of property.
The forum also promised to mediate between the warring factions with the view to finding an amicable solution to the conflicts, stressing that the proposed Northern Security Summit being supported by the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) to be held in April would go a long way in addressing the causes of the conflicts and proffer enduring solutions.
The forum however, applauded the federal government’s policy on food security which encourages investment in agriculture and called on farmers to avail themselves of the revolving funds set aside by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other financial institutions.