Published On: Mon, Jul 18th, 2016

How Senator Jibrin Barau is giving back to his constituents

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By Ali Abare Abubakar

Senator Jibrin I. Barau, Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream represents Kano North Senatorial District of Kano State.
The Kano State born federal lawmaker schooled at Ashford and American Graduate Universities after his preliminary education in Nigeria, having also served as commissioner in his home state, as well as represented the state in the House of Representatives before being elected into the upper chamber.
As chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream, he led other 23 senators on a motion on the floor of the senate to agitate for removal of subsidy on petroleum to allow Nigerians to access the product at filling stations across the country.
In his foresight on the perennial situation of fuel scarcity across the nation, he noted that the scarcity being experienced by Nigerians in major cities and towns was creating hardship for them adding that if the subsidy was removed the artificial scarcity of the product would become a thing of the past. The resolution to investigate the fuel scarcity followed this motion by the senator.
In the cause of investigating the problem, the senator’s petroleum downstream committee was told by marketers in Port-Harcourt that an alleged cabal in the sector was responsible for the scarcity of the product, confirming the postulation of the chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream in the motion.
According to a report, “Oil marketers in Port-Harcourt alleged that a cabal has hijacked the fuel supply at depot belonging to the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) in Okirika, Rivers state.”
This allegation was made by the hundreds of marketers that greeted the Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream which was on inspection tour of the PPMC depot at Port Harcourt.”
Again, it was not surprising that Senator Jibrin was overwhelmingly elected by his people to the senate. The erudite senator knowing the importance of education promised the Vice-chancellor of the National Open University (NOUN), Prof Abdalla Uba Adamu of his readiness to partner the authorities of the university in spreading the potentials inherent in studying through the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) mode of education among his constituents.
Senator Jibrin expressed his interest in the ODL mode of education, disclosing that he had earlier sponsored a bill for the slight amendment of the Act setting up the NOUN in order to further project it as an institution driven by information and communication technology.
He expressed that the bill, which is currently undergoing second reading in the hallow chambers of the National Assembly, when passed, would enable the university operate in tandem with technology obtainable in other ODL institutions around the world.
Senator Jibrin pledged to sponsor the establishment of a second Study Centre in Kano to complement the existing one in order to make education accessible in his constituents.
Earlier, the VC had enlisted the support of the National Assembly to bring on board, young girls and women who as a result of some cultural practices peculiar to their communities have been denied access to education over the years.
The VC particularly explained that with flexible and affordable education being championed by the university, women now have unfettered access to education as this will help them remove prejudices.
Senator Jibrin also in a motion he presented influenced the senate in a four-point prayer to resolve to revive ailing and collapsed industries in Nigeria. In the motion, Jibrin Barau leading other 61 senators infused in the Senate to mandate its Committee on Industries, Privatisation and National Planning to undertake an immediate inventory of all closed down industries.
It also asked the Committee to carry out thorough investigation into reasons why the industries collapsed and proffer solutions on how to revive them.
Senator Jibrin thereafter, propelled the Senate to call on the executive arm of government to create enabling policies that would encourage unemployed youths to set up cottage industries. It further called on the Federal Government to device means of persuading wealthy Nigerians to establish factories, rather than continuous dependence on importation of foreign goods.
Jibrin Barau, while presenting the motion, said the positive change being advocated by the present administration could only be achieved through relevant policies that would revive industries. He condemned the near collapse of the real sector arising from closure of most industries in the country.
“The Federal Government should educate Nigerian importers, who have the financial wherewithal to invest in the establishment of industries that would produce what they usually import.
“There is an urgent need to continue to sensitise and encourage our youths and others to establish cottage industries to produce things like, tooth pick, toiletries, handkerchief among others,’’ he said.
Just one year in the upper chamber, Senator Jibrin Barau has proved to Kano State, the senate and indeed Nigerians that he could lead the red chamber in any capacity. The Kano State Federal lawmaker by his doggedness and astuteness in handling the fuel crisis as chairman, Senate Committee on Downstream attests to capability is handling national crisis.
When Senator Jibrin led other 23 senators on a motion on the floor of the senate to excite for removal of subsidy on petroleum to allow Nigerians to access the product at filling stations across the country and another motion with four-point prayer to resolve to revive ailing and collapsed industries in Nigeria, it was clear that Nigerians have not seen the best of people’s senator.
With the zeal of bettering the lot of Nigerians both nationally and his immediate constituents, Senator Jibrin Barau’s one year in the senate representing Kano-North Senatorial District on the platform of All Progressive Congress (APC), can only be described as nostalgic.

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