PDP and its colour flags
By Ugochukwu Alaribe, UMUAHIA
Governors elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said yesterday that Nigeria is collapsing under the care of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
They noted that life was better under the PDP administrations from 1999 to 2015 than it was currently under the APC, adding that Nigerians were undergoing terrible pain and hardship in all aspects of life.
The governors urged Nigerians to reject the APC in the 2023 polls, insisting that it was impossible for a disorganized party to offer good governance to the people of Nigeria.
Rising from a meeting at the Umuobiakwa country home of the Abia State governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, the PDP governors in a communiqué signed by 13 of them and read by Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, expressed shock that in the face of statistics of complete failure in all ramifications, APC was still desirous of getting on the ballot in 2023.
The communique read: “The meeting reviewed the excruciating hardship and suffering being meted out to Nigerians by a failed APC led Federal Government; the near-collapse of the APC as a viable political party; the readiness of the PDP to take over and offer qualitative leadership options to rescue the nation.
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“We lament the terrible pain and hardship facing Nigerians in virtually all aspects of life. The meeting noted that life was much better in 2015 under the PDP than today under the APC as exemplified in the following comparative indicators obtained mainly from the National Bureau of Statistics: “Diesel which is critical for running of SMEs was N131.47 in 2015, now costs above N700.
“Fuel: Official and Black-Market were N87/155 in 2015, it now costs N167/350; Aviation Fuel/Air Ticket Rate on Domestic Flights was N110 per Litre/N18, 000 in 2015; it now hovers around N700 per Litre/N70,000, where available. Indeed, the scarcity of fuel that has resulted in the loss of several man-hours is a disgrace to Nigeria.
“The collapse of the National Grid (126 times in 7 years – (June 2015 to March 2022) and its consequences for non-availability of power is most unfortunate. Kerosene used by the ordinary Nigerian for cooking and power was N180 in 2015, it now sells at ¦ 450. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) – 12.5kg Cylinder sold for N2, 400 in 2015, is now sold at between N8,750 and N10, 000.”
The communique also noted that prices of basic foodstuffs were now three times higher than what they used to be in 2015, especially staple foods, such as rice, beans, cassava flakes which it declared were now slipping out of the hands of average Nigerians.
“Indeed, a Bag of Rice which sold for N8,500 in 2015 is now N39, 000. Electricity was N14.23 per kilowatt in 2015, it is now N38.530, and not even available. The unemployment rate was 11.4% in 2015, it is now over 33%, one of the highest in the world.
‘’The poverty rate in 2015 was 11.3% but now about 42.8%. Accumulated inflation in 2015 was about 4%, it is now 15.50%; Inflation Rate was 9.01% in 2015 and now 15.7%. Perhaps the Exchange Rate has been one of the most disastrous. N150 to a dollar was the parallel market (patronized by most businessmen and Nigerians) rate in 2015; it is now about N580 to $1 in the parallel market and still rising,’’ the governors noted.
They further decried the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to make its statutory contributions to the Federation Account, despite the fact that oil was selling at above $110.
The governors said they would resist any further attempt by NNPC to ascribe unsubstantiated subsidy claims to other tiers of government.
The PDP governors stated further: “It is patently unconstitutional for NNPC to determine at its whim and discretion when and what to pay to the Federation Account, as it is a mere trustee of the funds for the three tiers of government: Federal, states and local governments.
‘’We once again, call for investigations and audit of the quantity of consumption of fuel ascribed to Nigerians and for the deployment of technology at filling stations to determine in a transparent manner the volume of consumption.
‘’NNPC deducts N8.33 billion monthly for the rehabilitation of refineries in Nigeria. To date, no refinery is working.
“Conclusively, we believe that all these leakages in NNPC have been made possible because the President is also the Minister of Petroleum. The urgent separation of these two portfolios has become necessary,” the governors noted.
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