Nigeria’s major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that despite its denial, the All Progressive Congress, APC, led federal government is ‘corruptly’ paying subsidy on petroleum.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had last week insisted that the Nigerian government was not paying subsidy, but that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, being the only importer of the product is simply “doing so at a loss.”
“Technically today, there is no subsidy but there is under-recovery. Why that is, is because NNPC are currently doing all the importing. They are importing at a higher price than they are selling which means they are losing money, which means effectively that loss is being borne by everybody and effectively it reflected in the federation account.
“So, there is no subsidy payment in the way the old subsidy scheme used to work where they were paying the oil marketers but there is an under recovery, a loss on the importation of PMS being borne by NNPC and therefore indirectly being borne by everyone one of us,” Mrs. Adeosun said.
However, rising from a meeting of members of the National Working Committee, NEC, and the PDP Governors Forum, Sunday night in Asaba Delta state, the PDP said it was not satisfied with the explanation.
“We condemn in strong terms the massive corruption going on in the management of fuel subsidy regime which the Federal Government had declared non-existent while billions of Naira are deducted monthly at Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings,” the party said.
The opposition party, in a communique signed by its national chairman, Uche Secondus, and chairman of its governors Forum, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state, also said it remains opposed to the decision of Nigeria Governors Forum to authorise the release of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for use in the fight against insecurity.
“The PDP states and local governments are vehemently opposed to the unilateral withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government under any guise.
“We want to state unequivocally that neither the Governors’ Forum nor the Federal Executive Council has the power of appropriation of Federation Accounts, as such powers reside with the National and State Assemblies,” the party said.
The communique also said that the PDP “strongly condemned the unabated killings across the country”.
It called President Muhammadu Buhari “to come out clean on the herdsmen killings and address the nation on how to end the carnage”.
The president, PDP said, “must take responsibility on the protection of lives and property of Nigerians which is the most important of his responsibilities.
“We believe that the Federal Government’s decision to set up a Committee to address the issues of herdsmen killings is a pretentious approach to a matter that requires firm action and leadership by the President in line with his oath of office to protect all Nigerians irrespective of creed, tribe and political affiliation,” the party said.
On the recent decision by the governing APC to embrace restructuring of the country, PDP said it has been the author of restructuring which was expressed in the report of the 2014 National Conference.
“The All Progressive Congress (APC) as a latter day convert of restructuring is merely paying lip service to a matter of national importance.
“However, we have mandated our members in the National Assembly to immediately commence the process of initiating a Bill to address issues bothering on restructuring,” it said.
The communique also said the PDP is urging Mr. Buhari to “henceforth direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to adhere to the Rule of Law by obeying Court judgements and orders such as the one involving the Ekiti State Government against EFCC and restrain itself from further political intimidation and harassment of known or perceived political opponents.”
The party however, said it commends the Nigerian judiciary for its commitment to the enthronement of constitutional democracy “in the face of intimidation and harassment”.