Buhari government wrecking economy with fuel scarcity, says PDP

Uche Secondus

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the failure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Ministry of Petroleum Resources to find solution to the biting fuel crisis in the country has wrecked the nation’s economy.

The opposition slammed the Federal Government for planning to trade away the nation’s resources to other interests under “sneaky subsidy deals.”

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP expressed sadness that Buhari had refused to heed wise counsel from Nigerians to quit as minister of petroleum and allow competent hands to effectively manage the sector. The party said Buhari’s rejection of the advice had left the nation with no hope of any solution to the current fuel crisis and its attendant hardship on Nigerians.

“It is now clear to all that President Buhari-led APC Government is bent on wrecking the nation. Instead of abating, the situation is getting worse under the APC administration, which on December 6, 2017 promised to end the fuel crisis within one week.

“What is more frightening is the atrocious proposals by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu which amounts to trading away the nation’s resources to the mercy and vagaries of international interests through questionable subsidy plan that is completely against national interest.

“This same minister who denied plans to increase the price of fuel is also plotting an indirect hike through a wicked price modulation plan where NNPC will be allowed to continue to sell at N145 per litre in its few mega stations across the country while the independent marketers should be allowed to sell at whatever price is profitable to them in all their outlets,” PDP said.

The party accused APC government of deceiving Nigerians in its promise not to increase fuel prices. “We all know that there are very few NNPC stations and that most of such stations will not even have the products. What this means is that after ruining the system, the APC administration is now contemplating handing Nigerians over to unspeakable whims of independent marketers, while attempting to cover shady subsidy regime through which billions of naira could be frittered away daily under their watch.”

The statement continued:
“This proposal will leave our economy, which is already weakened by the incompetent and corrupt APC government, in complete comatose and result in more hardship on the already impoverished Nigerians.

“With the poor purchasing power of the naira, also due to bad policies of the APC government, any additional anti-people policy will ultimately spell doom for our dear nation.

“Nigerians are now aware that the same government that boasts of zero tolerance for corruption has been engaged in unspeakable grafts, including unabated siphoning of our national resources through underhand subsidy deals, direct diversion of public funds in various sectors and depletion of our foreign financial instruments. This must stop.”

But the APC declared support for the decision by the Federal Government to subsidize the price of petrol.
APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi told The Guardian that the decision was taken to save Nigerians from the brunt of additional increase in the price of petroleum products in the country.

Abdullahi said the subsidy regime initiated by the Buhari-led administration would be transparently handled. He faulted the notion that APC was opposed to the idea of subsidizing the price of fuel.

“The thing is that these are tough choices that government would have to make. Either choice you make comes with its own costs, either economic or political. At the end of the day the government has to take the best decision in the interest of the people.

“The issue of subsidy became a problem in the previous regime because of the corruption associated with it.

“If you followed the conversation around January 2012 on the removal of fuel subsidy, you would have realized that Nigerians were opposed to the action at the time. They kicked against it because people were making money out of it to the detriment of the nation. It was the fraudulent implementation of subsidy that Nigerians were fundamentally opposed to, and not the subsidy itself. 

“So the decision to retain subsidy, we believe, is in the overall interest of Nigerians. It is to also ensure we don’t put unnecessary burden on our people.”

Meanwhile, the Minority Whip in the Senate, Biodun Olujimi, has blamed bad governance for the suffering of the people. The lawmaker said APC had no blueprint on how it wanted to govern the country when it came to power in 2015.

Olujimi made the comments at the weekend when she hosted her constituents in Ekiti South senatorial district to a get-together party in Omuo Ekiti, her country home.

The former deputy governor said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) handed over a good government to the APC in 2015, “but the people have seen the difference today.”

“In the last 18 years of this democracy, I have not seen a government that is poorly manage like this APC-led government. They rode to power on the pretext of populist ideology. They did not have a blueprint on how to govern the country.

“They don’t know what to do up till now. We are just drifting, everybody is just doing what he likes and so, we went into a recession. They say we are technically out of it, but I don’t know what they mean because people are still in recession.

“No jobs anywhere, prices of goods have skyrocketed. The roads are bad. Electricity is zero. A man who cannot put food on his table, who cannot send his children to school is in recession. The people that are begging are too many,” she said.

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