As President Muhammadu Buhari presented a budget of N6.8 trillion, Tuesday, to the joint session of the National Sssembly, National Chairman of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has said the removal of fuel subsidy was inevitable.
He said there was need to restructure the country’s oil and gas sector which has been marred by corruption and inefficiencies.
Odigie-Oyegun who made the disclosure on Tuesday when he received a delegation of the APC National Coalition for Peace and Mobilization on a courtesy visit to him at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, said the current administration inherited an “infected system of subsidy run by corrupt cartels”.
“In one way or the other, subsidy must go”, he stated at the meeting.
“During electioneering campaign, the APC went around the length and breadth of Nigeria informing the citizen on the ills and mal-administration of the past regime”
He said a situation where the government spends almost a trillion naira yearly on the corruption-tainted subsidy regime is unacceptable and can no longer be sustained.
According to the APC chairman, oil cartels and their cronies resisting change have continued to blackmail and sabotage government on the issue of subsidy, a development that has resulted in the lingering nationwide fuel scarcities despite serious government efforts.
He described the fuel scarcity that the country is currently grappling with as a “national disgrace”.
Meanwhile,, the P.eoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the 2016 N6.8 trillion federal budget as presented by President Buhari, Tuesday morning, as a big fraud and executive conspiracy tailored towards mortgaging the future of the nation.
The party queried President decision to borrow N2 trillion, the biggest in the history of the nation as the “height of recklessness and deceit from a government that trends on propaganda”.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, on Tuesday berated the Federal Government for trying to use their “bogus” welfare programme and “phantom” capital projects as cover and conduit to syphon the funds to satisfy partisan interests, particularly to settle huge campaign debts.
“It is obvious that this budget is an extension of the campaign promises of the APC government, presented as a manifesto filled with bogus promises which implementation will be inconclusive, thereby allowing the APC to once again deny their promises.
“There has never been any known economy in the world where government deliberately mortgage the future of its nation by borrowing excessively to finance partisan interests while hiding under bogus welfare programmes. This is moreso important as the APC in reeling out their bogus campaign promises never informed Nigerians that they would mortgage their future through excessive borrowing.
“We have it on good authority that this is the first in the series of APC borrowings which would leave the future generation of Nigerians under the burden of huge debts after four years,” PDP said.
The PDP also said the budget clearly showed that after seven months in power, Mr. Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress were yet to differentiate between governance and campaign propaganda.
“By all standards, the 2016 budget, the first major economic policy outing of this government, is completely unrealistic and duplicitously embellished with impractical predications, a development that confirms fears by economy watchers and investors that this administration is obviously ill-equipped for governance.
“We are indeed shocked that President Buhari and his minister of information have come up with two different reasons for the current fuel crisis in the country. While we appreciate the President’s apology, we think it is high time he called this minister to order as his excessive propaganda and blame game are ridiculing this administration and the image of the nation.
“Furthermore, it is instructive to note the official endorsement of Mr. President to the devaluation of the naira as against his campaign promise of firming up the value of our currency even to the much vaunted one naira to one dollar.
‘Does it mean that Mr. President lied his way to power, or that he did not understand the complexities of governance when he was making his false promises to Nigerians?
“In future, there is need to regulate campaign promises so that we will not end up with a government that promises to climb Mount Everest with bare hands and end up mortgaging our future with orchestrated borrowings.
“Finally, we want to request Mr. President to once again to involve experienced and well-tested hands in the management of the economy and budgeting processes. This economy is not for Mr. President, neither is it for the APC. The progress of the economy is for all Nigerians and as such, due care should taken to save ourselves from unrealistic and deceptive programmes,” the party said.