Nigeria’s opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) administration of plotting to use the N3 trillion subsidy claims to divert funds to APC leaders and their cronies ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
The opposition party said it is appalled by what it called a bare-faced move of APC administration to hide under fuel subsidy to syphon and fritter a staggering N3trillion, describing it as outrageous and unpardonable crime against Nigerians.
In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, PDP, Debo Ologunagba, the party noted that whilst it was not against subsidising petroleum products for Nigerians, it rejected, “this wicked plot by the APC government to use a heavily padded fuel subsidy claims to surreptitiously funnel trillions of naira into the pockets of corrupt APC leaders and their cronies in government ahead of their shameful exit in 2023.”
In view of this, the PDP demanded a full disclosure of specifics of the subsidy templates including, “details of the cost of importation of petroleum products into the country to warrant the additional N2.557 trillion being requested by the corrupt APC administration.”
According to the statement, the PDP stated that, “it already has information of how corrupt APC leaders pushed for the additional N2.557 trillion to the N443 billion already approved for fuel subsidy in the 2022 budget just to create a surplus as slush fund ostensibly for APC leaders to share as well as deploy to rig the 2023 elections.”
Accordingly, the PDP said, “The APC government cannot justify the proposed increase in fuel subsidy in the face of incontrovertible evidence of slowing economy and consequential decrease in consumption of petroleum products in Nigeria due largely to the rudderless, irresponsible and insensitive economic policies of the APC as well as the adverse effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Nigerians have already noted that the proposed increase is consistent with APC’s typical padding of fuel subsidy ahead of every election cycle,” the party stated.
It further asked, “Is it not revealing that while fuel subsidy was N24 billion in 2016 and rose to N144.53 billion in 2017, it spiked to N878 billion in 2018 ahead of the 2019 elections; remained at N551.22 billion in the election year of 2019, only to drop to N102 billion in 2020, after the elections?
“It is clear that the APC increased fuel subsidy to N1.4 trillion in 2021 and now barefacedly seeks additional N2.557 trillion to have a cumulative subsidy bill of N3 trillion in 2022 to prosecute the 2023 elections having realised that it has a tough battle with Nigerians because of its monumental failures.
“It is even more disturbing that the proposed increase is to be funded through external borrowings, which will further impoverish Nigerians, mortgage the future of our nation and burden future generation of Nigerians just to finance the insatiable greed of APC leaders,” the PDP alleged.
The PDP stated that it was standing with the Nigerian people, “and vehemently rejects the bandying of incoherent, unsubstantiated and heavily doctored figures by the APC government in its desperate lies on domestic consumption and landing costs.”
“Our party challenges the APC to present the details of importation costs to Nigerians as no genuine pricing template can support such criminal increase in fuel subsidy beyond the appropriate pricing which experts posit cannot be above N500 billion,” the main opposition party stated.
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