The Peoples Democratic Party has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of superintending over a corrupt fuel subsidy regime.
The party asked the President to submit himself for an independent inquest into his handling of the N1.4tn oil subsidy regime as well as the alleged complicity of his Presidency in other acts of financial impropriety.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Sunday.
The opposition party said, “Such inquest, which is already backed by state governors across the board, will not only expose humongous corruption but also show the world that our African Union Anti-Corruption champion had not been totally spotless.
“We invite Nigerians to note that the demand by governors to probe all subsidy deals since 2015 is a direct indictment on President Buhari as the Minister of Petroleum, particularly, following allegations that the stolen funds are being warehoused to fund his 2019 re-election bid and the opulent lifestyle in the Presidential Villa.
“The party notes that if President Buhari allowed the inquest, it will reveal how our President, who had queried the genuineness of the oil subsidy payments by the PDP administration and described the process as a fraud, had secretly engaged in underhand oil subsidy deals.”
Ologbodiyan further said, “Nigerians will also understand how the cost of fuel geometrically rose from the PDP-subsidised cost of N87 to N145, representing a criminal N58 tax per litre of fuel.
“Nigerians recall that it took over two years of secret oil subsidy deals under President Buhari before it was exposed last December.
“Since then, the Presidency and the NNPC have been seeking ways to cover the fraud, which include claims that local consumption suddenly jumped from 28 million litres per day to 60 litres per day.
“PDP considers this as a fabrication to retire the billions being stolen as subsidy, even when statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics and the reality of the retarded purchasing power of citizens, under the prevailing economic recession, do not validate such claims.”
The party demanded that the inquest should cover the alleged the N15bn stolen from the NHIS, the N18bn stolen from the PINE initiative, the alleged leaked memo of N9tn corrupt oil contracts at the NNPC, the reported diversion of the N1.1tn worth of crude last year and why indicted Presidential cronies and fronts had not been prosecuted.
However, the NNPC said the PDP was ignorant by saying that the government was committing fuel subsidy fraud.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, said the oil firm had never at any time said it was paying subsidy on petrol, rather all it stated was that the national oil firm had been incurring under-recovery.
He said, “Fraud means the manipulation of figures, something that is illegal, which can be likened to stealing. We’ve established the platform to show how the figures we arrived at were got. And we never said subsidy; we said under-recovery. And under-recovery is in line with the NNPC Act and our credit policy.
“We also said if the consumption is at this level, this is what the landing cost is and this is what the corporation might be experiencing as a result of under-recovery. So, it is either the PDP does not understand the figures or they are ignorant of what they are saying. In all our presentations, we never said subsidy because we know that it is only the National Assembly that can approve subsidy.”
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