Subsidy: Why NASS must carry out open forensic investigation – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the National Assembly must carry out full and open forensic investigation into the federal government’s subsidy payments to ascertain its transparency and authenticity.

The party stated this in reaction to the announcement made Monday the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) confirming the removal of the subsidy.

The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, had the FG gave order for full subsidy removal after careful considerations of its implications.

The PDP in a statement issued earlier issued on Monday had charged officials of APC-led government to “stop lying to Nigerians and tell the truth of how trillions of naira, claimed to have been paid as subsidy, was cornered by APC leaders and members of the cabal in the Buhari Presidency.

Its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the APC-led federal government must come clean of the actual sum supposedly doled out on subsidy of petroleum products.

“Our party notes that if the federal government is running away from its subsidy policy, the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, President Buhari or his minister of state, Timi Sylva, should muster the courage to announce this to Nigerians through a policy statement.

“Our party holds that this sudden announcement of an end to fuel subsidy and commencement of a deregulation regime of the oil sector is a desperate step by the Buhari administration to stave off an investigation into the siphoning of trillions of naira by APC leaders using phony subsidy claims.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how President Buhari set the stage for unprecedented subsidy looting under his regime.

“It would be recalled that in his bid to smear the PDP, President Buhari, while leading the agitation against the decision by the PDP administration to deregulate the oil sector in 2012, declared that fuel subsidy does not exist. He had called the subsidy regime and its operators a fraud. 

“Rather than riding on this declaration on assumption of office, the Buhari Presidency provided official cover for the cabal and APC leaders to use his ascendancy to power to engage in underhand dealings, plunder our nation’s subsidy resources, pillaged trillions of naira from the oil cashbox, only to now turn around to announce an end to subsidy, seeing that there is nothing left to steal with the current international price crash.

“We ask, could this be the reason behind Mr President’s inability to make any concrete statement on the exposed subsidy scam under his administration in the last five years?

“Could it also be the reason the oil subsidy, which Nigerians where enjoying under the PDP,  was adjudged a fraud but suddenly ceased to be a fraud from 2015 till Monday, even when Nigerians no longer enjoyed any benefit from the payout within this period?

“Nigerians now know the reason the APC administration had refused to allow for an independent inquest into the alleged N1.4 trillion oil subsidy sleaze through which certain APC leaders were benefiting from alleged N58 hidden toll per litre which Nigerians were forced to bear for years after fuel price was increased by the APC administration from PDP’s subsidized cost of N87 to N145 per litre. 

“It is now clear to all why the APC administration had resorted to muddling up oil revenue transactions, refused to open up on federation equity of crude while frustrating free flow of information on product exchange and revenue remittances, and why they have been promoting reports on imaginary pipeline losses as well as other opaque and non-transparent transaction in a sector that is directly under the supervision of Mr President.

“This is in addition to the over N14 trillion stolen through various shady oil subsidy contracts, including the stolen N9 trillion detailed by the leaked NNPC memo and the N1.1 trillion worth of crude stolen with 18 unregistered vessels linked to APC interests, all of which the Buhari Presidency had refused to investigate despite demands by Nigerians.

“The PDP therefore insists that the decision of the APC-led administration to embrace subsidy now that oil price had crashed cannot foreclose the irretrievable demand for forensic audit of all the fraudulent under-recoveries, through which funds meant for subsidy were diverted to private pockets of APC leaders.

“The PDP is also demanding a forensic audit of over-bloated 60 million litres of petrol that NNPC claimed it was importing under its former GMD, Dr Maikanti Baru, to justify the fraudulent subsidy payout.

“The PDP urges the National Assembly to stand on the side of Nigerians, expose all those involved, who got what in this huge scam against our nation as well as take steps to recover the over N14 trillion stolen by the cabal and certain APC leaders and channel same for the welfare of Nigerians especially at this critical time”.

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