N5.4trn Fuel Subsidy: Posterity Won’t Be Kind To You For Oversight Failure, Atiku Tells NASS

N5.4trn Fuel Subsidy: Posterity Won’t Be Kind To You For Oversight Failure, Atiku Tells NASS

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate  in 2023, Atiku Abubakar, has told federal lawmakers that posterity will not be kind to them if they keep looking away from what he alleged is the “daylight robbery” surrounding the fuel subsidy regime of the Bola Tinubu-led administration.

Atiku also alleged that the Tinubu administration was diverting public funds through petrol subsidy, hence the refusal of the government to reveal how much is being spent on subsidy.

The former vice president was reacting to the Presidency’s debunking of claims that it is making provisions to pay the sum of N5.4trn for fuel subsidy in 2024.

Recalled the minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Wale Edun, had, in an Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP), revealed that the government would be spending up to N5.4 trillion on oil subsidies in 2024.

Meanwhile, The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), reacting also to the presidency’s claim, said the revelation confirmed its stand that the Tinubu-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration is corrupt and deceitful.

The PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary Hon Debo Ologunagba, further demanded that the president immediately clear the air and come clean by “personally addressing Nigerians and ordering a public enquiry into the reported N5.4 trillion fuel subsidy under his watch.”

However, Atiku, in his own statement yesterday, said there is a need for the National Assembly to get to the bottom of the matter rather than focusing on frivolous issues.

“The National Assembly needs to be alive to its responsibilities, especially in the area of oversight. Posterity will not be kind to members of the National Assembly if they continue to look the other way while daylight robbery is taking place,” the former Vice President said.

He said the clandestine subsidy regime was one of the reasons investments in the oil sector had refused to come in.

Atiku added, “Tinubu has brought the shady nature of running  Lagos to the federal level. He claims subsidy is gone but his Special Adviser on Energy, Olu Verheijen, says they are intervening from time to time while his Finance Minister, Wale Edun, described subsidy removal as an ‘ongoing process’. A document authored by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy revealing how much subsidy is being paid is now being disowned by the very authors of the document.

“Both the World Bank and the IMF have revealed in separate reports that Nigeria is still paying petrol subsidies, but the Tinubu government refuses to come clean. Even a senior member of the APC had revealed that subsidy was beyond paid.

“For a man who claims to be on a mission to attract foreign direct investment, it is ironic that he cannot see that his policy flip flops and lies are capable of dissuading investors. He must come clean on this subsidy issue since he doubles as petroleum minister. The Tinubu administration should be courageous enough to own their policies and outcome with their full chest and responsible enough to be accountable for their actions to Nigerians.”

Atiku said the denial lends credence that money meant for the Federation Account, which ought to be shared to states and local governments, is being diverted without any form of accountability whatsoever.

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