By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of superintending the most corrupt subsidy regime in the history of Nigeria’s petroleum sector.
“Judging from its background as a party that instituted the very corrupt subsidy regime in the petrol sector, the PDP lacks the moral credentials to question an honest and transparent move by the Buhari-led administration to find lasting solutions to the problems caused by the party in the years that it led the affairs of the country”, APC said in a statement yesterday.
According to the statement signed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Yekini Nabena, the party said the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to remove subsidy on petroleum has been commended not only as the right way to go by economic experts, but has equally freed up funds for implementation of critical national capital projects.
“In line with the drive to deregulate the oil sector, the petroleum products pricing template now reflects competitive and market driven components which has inturn freed up cash to fund the ongoing development of critical infrastructure across the country”, the statement said.
APC said “As genuine patriots, reputable groups and organizations, make honest contributions to the reactions about the deregulation of electricity and petrol prices, we receive with some amazement comments attributed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, condemning the decision of the Buhari administration to deregulate the PMS sector.
“The PDP and Atiku’s reaction to what has been adjudged an inevitability by many experts clearly depicts the height of hypocrisy demonstrated by them on many issues relating to the progress and wellbeing of Nigeria.”
The party specifically expressed regrets over comments by the PDP’s presidential flag bearer in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, who has said if there is genuine deregulation, the fuel pump price would have crashed, saying it is rather unfortunate if truly, the comments reported by a section of the media, condemning the removal of petrol subsidy, is attributed to Atiku Abubakar.
“Atiku’s comments clearly reveals his two-facedness and portrays him as man not only acutely lacking in integrity but one that should never be trusted. Atiku continues to justify the majority of the Nigerian people who rejected him at the polls. This stems majorly from the fact that he was part of the government that created the “corrupt petrol subsidy” monster and also the chaos in the electricity sector.
“A further portrayal of Atiku’s hypocrisy was his pretentious promise to deregulate the downstream petroleum sector by privatizing the NNPC. Atiku made the sale of NNPC to his friends and the deregulation of both the PMS and the electricity sector the hallmark of his 2019 presidential election misadventure.
“Atiku argued at different forums in 2018 and early 2019 that NNPC and the power sector must be disbanded through privatization if they must be efficient.
“Quoting his specific words about the privatization of the NNPC as a springboard for the deregulation of the downstream sector, Atiku said, “Privatising NNPC would be to our advantage. We are not going to lose anything, but we will rather gain a lot,” according to a Guardian story of January 17, 2019.
Arguing further, APC in the statement said “Compared to PDP’s failed past, under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, the reviewed petroleum products pricing template has resulted in a more transparent, efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and also resulted in constant availability of fuel nationwide.
“Describing the deregulation of the price of petrol by the APC-led government as callous and cruel is rather sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, given the pain and anguish suffered by Nigerians on long queues at petrol stations when the PDP-led government presided over a very corrupt subsidy regime”, the statement said.