The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has faulted the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on his claim that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is the one bearing the cost of fuel subsidy and not the federal government.
“What is the difference between NNPC and the federal government? Who is NNPC and who is federal government? Is NNPC now an autonomous agency of the federal government?” were Mr. Fayose’s posers in a statement signed by his media aide, Lere Olayinka on Wednesday.
The vice president had told journalists in Lagos on Monday that NNPC and not the federal government was paying the N26 subsidy per litre of petrol.
His comment came on the heels of a statement made by the GMD of the corporation, Maikanti Baru, that the landing cost of petrol was now N171 as against the official pump price of N145 per litre, and that the federal government was paying N26 as subsidy on every litre of petrol imported to retain the pump price of N145.
Mr. Fayose said the All Progressives Congress, APC-led federal government should stop addressing Nigerians as if they were kindergarten pupils.
“Fact is, NNPC does not have rights to spend money it generates from the sales of crude oil. It does not have the rights to swap crude oil for subsidy,” he submitted.
“Where is NNPC getting the money with which it is subsidising petrol with N26 per litre? Is NNPC spending money from the sales of crude oil that should be paid into the federation account to pay subsidy?”
Mr. Fayose urged Mr. Osinbajo not to engage in bulk passing. He urged him to tell Nigerians the truth as to how much is being spent on subsidy by the federal government.
“I like the vice president, he is a pastor and I don’t believe that he will also join others in Buhari’s government to lie to Nigerians,” he said.
“However, this one that he presented NNPC as an agency of the federal government that can allocate fund without the approval of the president is very strange to me.
“If subsidy is being paid by the NNPC as claimed by Vice President Osinbajo, where is the money coming from? Is it from sales of crude oil? Does it now mean that the NNPC is spending part of the proceeds of the sale of crude oil outside allocation to the federal government by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC)?
“We were all in this country in 2012 when chieftains of the APC, including President Buhari led protests across the country against removal of fuel subsidy.
“Before he became President, Buhari maintained that fuel subsidy never existed and when he became President, he said he did not know what fuel subsidy meant.
“We were also in Nigeria in May 2016, when the federal government announced the removal of subsidy on petrol and went on to increase the pump price of petrol to N145 per litre.
“The same APC people, who protested against removal of subsidy and increment of petrol price to N140 in 2012, defended the removal in 2016 and increment of pump price
“In 2017 budget of the federal government, provision was not made for the payment of fuel subsidy, so also that of 2018. So where is the N26 they are subsidizing one litre of petrol with coming from? Is the Buhari-led government spending fund not appropriated by the National
Mr. Fayose reiterated his stance that the current fuel scarcity was caused by the federal government so as to be able to force Nigerians to accept the planned increment of petrol pump price from N145 to N185 per litre.