By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has kicked against plans by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to divest over N1.7 trillion, ($3.9 billion) in acquiring 20% shares in the $19.5 billion refinery being built by Dangote Group.
Towards this end, the PDP has demanded that the Federal Government immediately halt the process.
The party, which said this yesterday in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, maintained that the transaction must be made completely open, in terms of conditions for crude barter, signatories, duration, equity sharing and signatories, among other conditions.
The PDP also urged the Dangote Group and other concerned investing firms to be wary of going into any kind of deals with the APC administration.
The main opposition party further charged the National Assembly to protect the nation by summoning the management of the NNPC and immediately commence a holistic investigation into this deal.
The PDP insisted that any process involving the divesting the nation economic interest by the government must be made open, transparent and not allowed to become a conduit pipe for treasury-looting officials in the APC administration.
The statement by Ologbondiyan reads, “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is alarmed by alleged plans by fraudulent officials in the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration to divert over N1.7 trillion, ($3.9 billion) to their personal purses, under the guise of acquiring 20% shares in the $19. 5 billion refinery being built by Dangote Group.
“Our party is worried over the opaque and nebulous deal being pushed by fraudulent officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which not only allows corrupt persons in the government to divert the funds, but also entangles and smears the unsuspecting firm with corruption.
“While the PDP has nothing against any genuine and honest incentives for private refineries or any moves to divest our economic interest in the private sector, the party insists that such must not be used as a ruse to siphon funds from the national treasury.
“Moreover, is it not an absurdity for a government, which cannot fix our refineries, to be planning to spend such huge amount of money in a venture that it would be a minority stakeholder, if not in the pursuit of sleazy deals by corrupt officials?
“This is more so as the payment arrangement involving crude barter has remained hazy, underhanded and lacking in the required transparency in evaluation, cost, and exchange terms.