By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday lashed out at the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its criticisms against President Muhammadu Buhari government, arguing that the umbrella party lacked the moral standing to lay any such blame on the present administration of APC.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Yekini Nabena, the party said against the backdrop of the criticism by the PDP over the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owed the federal government a whopping sum of N704 billion during PDP administration due to lack of transparency.
According to the statement, “It is baffling that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has to be told it does not have any moral authority to caution or query the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“Apart from the fact that the subsidy regime and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) have been so transparent under the Buhari led administration unlike under the previous PDP administrations when the same NNPC was accountable to no one to the extent that it owed the government up to the sum of N704 billion for gross violations of the subsidy scheme.
“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 was also under the PDP government 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.
“To make matters worse, 60 million barrels of oil valued was stolen under the watch of PDP controlled NNPC between 2009 and 2012. The NNPC during the PDP years also failed to remit US$20 billion in oil revenues owed to the nation, which was confirmed by PwC and Deloitte investigative reports. The PDP has no genuine reason to cry wolf or display moral authority over subsidy under the Buhari administration.
“The PDP Spokesman in naively attacking the president claimed the increase of fuel pump price and President Buhari’s attempt to justify the increase of fuel price in Nigeria by comparing it to the N168 per liter cost in Saudi Arabia was a morbid joke. He further displayed his lack of understanding when he compared the minimum wage of Saudi Arabia and Egypt to buttress his mundane points.
“He however forgot that Saudi Arabia pumps 12million barrels of crude oil a day as against Nigeria’s 1.8million, Saudi Arabia has a population of 35million people while Nigeria has a population of over 200million people, Saudi Arabia has 15% tax to GDP while Nigeria has 7.5% tax to GDP, Saudi Arabia has $750billion in their foreign reserves while Nigeria has only $36billion. Mr Kola Ologbondiyan also failed the simple arithmetic in calculating the cost and standard of living in both countries.
“In 2019 according to the Bureau of Statistics, the 36 states of the federation received the sum of N2.53 trillion as Federal Allocation. Of the 15 states under the control of the PDP, Delta State was the biggest recipient of federal allocation with a total sum of N214.4 billion. Akwa Ibom was second spot with a total sum of N169.79 billion gross allocations within the period.
“Rivers came third on the list with a gross allocation of N154.5 billion and Bayelsa came 4th with a whooping N143.8 billion in 2019. None of these states headed by the PDP governors have anything vital to show for it. The fact that we are debating this clearly shows that the past administrations led by the PDP failed this land. Since you cannot build something on nothing, you’ve got to appreciate what the present leader is doing with little income.”