The President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization has branded the promise by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to crash the pump price of petrol to N97 as opportunity taken too far.
The campaign organization, in a statement issued by its Director of Strategic Communication, Festus Keyamo, said the promise is a clear manifestation of the desperation of the former vice president, leading him to make phantom promises.
The organisation argued, that “It has become necessary for Nigerians to interrogate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar further in order for him to lay bare before the Nigerian people the so-called “template” he has developed to crash the price. This is not a game of tricks or hide-and-seek. He must come clean.
“Nigerians await the DETAILS of the TRANSPARENT system Alhaji Atiku Abubakar intends to adopt that would (1) Eliminate fraudulent cash payments to middlemen and (2) Make the product available at all times”, he stated.
According to Keyamo, under the current international price of the product, no supplier will contemplate selling the product at that ridiculous price the PDP candidate has promised.
The statement also reeled out the steps so far taken by the Buhari administration to maintain the current price of the product at N145 and also stop the payment of subsidy.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the PDP a few days ago that its presidential candidate, H.E. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will, if elected President, crash the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. However, there is no better evidence of desperation and phantom promises by the main opposition’s candidate than this statement.
“At today’s international price of gasoline, no supplier will ever contemplate any scheme that will deliver products at such ridiculous price. Those in the sector reading this must be having a good laugh at the opposition. A simple check at the international prices will show that even at the world market where gasoline is procured, it will cost not less than N158 to procure a litre of crude oil. When you add the cost of refining, plus freight, finance and port charges (premium), there is no magic that one would employ to supply the finished product at N145 a litre. Presently, the landing cost of the product in Nigeria hovers around N205 per litre.
“The claim by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is opportunism of the highest order. Nigerians are aware that higher crude oil prices will translate to higher government revenues and a prudent administration will convert the resources to the benefit of the common man.
He noted that “What obtained under the past government was abuse of the subsidy regime”, and that “the system under the past government was that independent marketers and all sort of persons were allowed to import petroleum products on their own, declare non-existent volumes of these products and get paid for these non-existent volumes”.
While lamenting, that under this old system, more than N3 trillion was lost, and that when these independent marketers could no longer bring in products due to high prices of crude and make profit at the fixed market price of N145 to a litre, President Buhari refused to further raise the price of petroleum products beyond the N145 per litre. “The President was also not prepared to go back to the subsidy regime. Therefore, President Buhari stopped the scam of overblown volumes and subsidy payments to middlemen. As a result, NNPC took full charge of getting products for consumption”.
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