By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described as ludicrous and absurd a statement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) criticising the fuel subsidy regime under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
According to BMO, the subsidy regime and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have never been so open as they are now, and that the state-owned oil company was accountable to no one under PDP administrations, to the extent that It owed the government the sum of N704 billion for gross violations of the subsidy scheme.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, BMO said the PDP regime on subsidy was rife with endemic fraud and ingrained failures.
“We once again reassure Nigerians that there will be accountability in everything President Muhammadu Buhari does”.
“Between 2006 and 2013, PDP governments spent over N5.42 trillion on subsidy, which was 15.57% higher than the 2014 national budget of N4.69 trillion.
“It is also worthy to note that the number of fuel importers rose from 5 in 2006 to 10 in 2007, 19 in 2008 and spiked up to 140 in 2011. This was one of the biggest causes of corruption because many firms only existed on paper and collected subsidies on fuel that never existed.
“PDP should indeed bury its face in shame; between January 12 and 13, 2009, the Accountant-General’s office made 128 subsidy payments of 999 million naira each in the space of 24 hours, amounting to about US$6.36 million almost every 10 minutes.”
“60 million barrels of oil valued at $13.7 billion was stolen under the watch of the state owned-oil company from 2009 to 2012”
“It was under PDP-led administration that the state oil company, NNPC failed to remit US$20 billion in oil revenues owed to the nation, which was confirmed by PwC and Deloitte investigative reports.
“NEITI discovered US$11.6 billion was missing under PDP’s administrations from Nigeria LNG Company dividend payments”.
According to the pro-Buhari group, the PDP crying wolf over subsidy is gratuitous and unwarranted. “President Buhari’s government is not like the PDP administrations that awarded contracts to itself and this will not be another bazaar for PDP members.
“As students of history, we recall that Muhammad Tukur, son of the former chairman of the PDP Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and 11 others of its members were charged to court by the EFCC for conspiracy, forgery and fraudulently obtaining N677.9m of subsidy fund.
“It is also on record that Abdullahi Alao, son of the PDP chieftain, late Arisekola Alao was alleged to have fraudulently obtained N2.6billion as subsidy payment”.
“Before raising a query on subsidy regime of Buhari-led government, the PDP should first clear itself of the scandals attendant upon subsidy during its time”, the statement added.