Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has said that President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) were playing Nigerians Advanced Fee Fraud over the removal of fuel subsidy and increment of pump price from N86.50 to N145 per litre, describing the increment as wickedness taken too far and asking; “was the federal government paying up to N58.50 as subsidy on one litre of petrol before now?”
Governor Fayose, who reiterated his call on Nigerians, especially the labour movement to resist what he called “this wicked act of President Buhari and his party,” added that “those who opposed removal of fuel subsidy in 2012 and funded the Occupy Nigeria protest must not be allowed to get away with this imposition of hardship on Nigerians now that they are in power.”
He said labour unions, civil society organisations and other well-meaning Nigerians should stand up and be counted at this crucial time in the life of the common people of Nigeria, adding that “there is no justification for the increment at this period when government is not paying salaries regularly, Nigerians are losing their jobs daily, prices of foodstuffs have gone over the roof and life has become so difficult for the common people. To labour Nigerians with this increment is wickedness taken too far!”
In a statement on Thursday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said: “In 2012 when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government of Dr Goodluck Jonathan removed fuel subsidy and increased petrol price to N141 per litre, crude oil was selling at $111 per barrel. How then can petrol price be increased to N145 per litre when crude oil is now selling at $40 per barrel?
“It is on record that on May 2 this year, the federal government, in the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Template released in Abuja, told Nigerians that it was subsidising petrol at N12.62 per litre.
“If as at May 2, petrol was being subsidised at N12.62 per litre, and now that the subsidy of N12.62 has been removed, what ought to have been added to the N86.50 pump price should be N12.62, which would have increased pump price to N99.12 per litre.
“Increasing petrol pump price by N58.50 when the federal government claimed it was subsidising the product at N12.62 per litre is clear political 419, which is aimed at further impoverishing Nigerians as the government will be making profit of N45.88 on each litre of petrol bought by Nigerians.
“How can any government with human feelings attempt to make profit of N45.88 per litre on Nigerians, who are no longer getting their salaries regularly? How can Buhari and his party impose another N45.88 per litre levy on Nigerians who are already facing severe hardship? This is wickedness!”
Speaking further, Governor Fayose said there was no justification for the removal of subsidy and increment of petrol pump price to N145 per litre now that crude oil price is $40 per barrel when the same product was increased to N141 per litre in 2012 when crude oil was $111 per barrel.
While describing President Buhari as a hypocrite, the governor said, “Nigerians should be reminded that the president once said that petrol subsidy never existed and that it was a fraud. How then can the same President Buhari tell us that he has removed the same subsidy he claimed never existed?
“The reality is that these people lied to Nigerians too much. They made promises they knew they won’t fulfil just to get to power. Now they are showing Nigerians their true colours. They are showing Nigerians that they have come to punish them with hardship.
“Buhari and his APC promised to reduce petrol pump price to from N87 to N45 per litre; petrol is now N145. They promised to create three million jobs per year; they have instead created millions of unemployment. They said $1 will be equal to N1; $1 is now N320. They promised to create better live for Nigerians, they have instead created hardship by making prices of basic commodities to skyrocket through their lack of policy direction.”