The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described the fuel subsidy regime under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC, administration as a monumental fraud and an unpardonable scam against the Nigerian state.
The party stated this on Tuesday in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondoyan, and made available to newsmen in Abuja.
This is even as the party counselled officials of APC-led government to “stop lying to Nigerians and tell the truth of how trillions of naira, claimed to have been paid as a subsidy, was cornered by APC leaders and members of the cabal in the Buhari Presidency.”
The PDP also described Monday’s declaration by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, that there will be no more subsidy and under-recovery as dramatic.
The statement read in part: “Our party notes that if the federal government is running away from its subsidy policy, the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, President Buhari or his Minister of state, Timi Sylva, should muster the courage to announce this to Nigerians through a policy statement.
“Our party holds that this sudden announcement of an end to fuel subsidy and commencement of a deregulation regime of the oil sector is a desperate step by the Buhari administration to stave off an investigation into the siphoning of trillions of naira by APC leaders using phoney subsidy claims.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how President Buhari set the stage for unprecedented subsidy looting under his regime.
“It would be recalled that in his bid to smear the PDP, President Buhari, while leading the agitation against the decision by the PDP administration to deregulate the oil sector in 2012, declared that fuel subsidy does not exist. He had called the subsidy regime and its operators a fraud.
“Rather than riding on this declaration on the assumption of office, the Buhari Presidency provided official cover for the cabal and APC leaders to use his ascendancy to power to engage in underhand dealings, plunder our nation’s subsidy resources, pillaged trillions of naira from the oil cashbox, only to now turn around to announce an end to a subsidy, seeing that there is nothing left to steal with the current international price crash.”
While chiding President Buhari for alleged lack of openness in the handling of petroleum subsidy since he assumed power in 2015; the PDP said nothing but an alleged scam on the part of APC leaders was responsible for the first citizen’s inability to speak up on the issue.
“We ask, could this be the reason behind Mr. President’s inability to make any concrete statement on the exposed subsidy scam under his administration in the last five years?
“Could it also be the reason the oil subsidy, which Nigerians where enjoying under the PDP, was adjudged a fraud but suddenly ceased to be a fraud from 2015 till Monday, even when Nigerians no longer enjoyed any benefit from the payout within this period?
“Nigerians now know the reason the APC administration had refused to allow for an independent inquest into the alleged N1.4 trillion oil subsidy sleaze through which certain APC leaders were benefiting from alleged N58 hidden toll per litre which Nigerians were forced to bear for years after fuel price was increased by the APC administration from PDP’s subsidized cost of N87 to N145 per litre.
“It is now clear to all why the APC administration had resorted to muddling up oil revenue transactions, refused to open up on federation equity of crude while frustrating free flow of information on product exchange and revenue remittances, and why they have been promoting reports on imaginary pipeline losses as well as other opaque and non-transparent transaction in a sector that is directly under the supervision of Mr. President.
“This is in addition to the over N14 trillion stolen through various shady oil subsidy contracts, including the stolen N9 trillion detailed by the leaked NNPC memo and the N1.1 trillion worth of crude stolen with 18 unregistered vessels linked to APC interests, all of which the Buhari Presidency had refused to investigate despite demands by Nigerians.
“The PDP, therefore, insists that the decision of the APC-led administration to embrace subsidy now that oil price had crashed cannot foreclose the irretrievable demand for a forensic audit of all the fraudulent under-recoveries, through which funds meant for subsidy was diverted to private pockets of APC leaders.
“The PDP is also demanding a forensic audit of over-bloated 60 million litres of petrol that NNPC claimed it was importing under its former GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, to justify the fraudulent subsidy payout.
“The PDP urges the National Assembly to stand on the side of Nigerians, expose all those involved, who got what in this huge scam against our nation as well as take steps to recover the over N14 trillion stolen by the cabal and certain APC leaders and channel same for the welfare of Nigerians especially at this critical time.”