The candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25, 2023, presidential election, Peter Obi, has challenged the Federal Government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to give Nigerians details of how funds realised from the removal of petrol subsidy are being spent.
The former Anambra state governor stated this an online Twitter space tagged, ‘Peter Obi Live on Parallel Facts’ in the late evening of Saturday, July 29, 2023.
Tinubu had since his inauguration on May 29, removed the subsidy on the cost of petrol to tackle, among other things, corruption in the system and save money for the government.
But Obi was unconvinced, saying the appropriation of gains from the removal itself was corruption-ridden.
He said, “Nigerians need to see the numbers and figures from the savings made from subsidy. Petrol subsidy in Nigeria is more like a criminal set-up. You cannot tell people to make sacrifices when they’re seeing you live a life of a rock star, and buying brand new jeeps from all over the world at very expensive prices.”
Obi, telling Nigerians he would have done things differently in subsidy removal, said, “It has to be structured in phases, so that the government knows the actual subsidy component it is dealing with.”
He maintained there remained so much corruption in the oil sector, and the Federal government needed to know each component of oil subsidy it was dealing with.
“For example when you remove all these opaque components, what you would be paying could even be 40 per cent or less. It is when you know the component of what you’re removing that you can take a wholistic and proper action.
“We have seen a former governor (Isah Yuguda) say that someone is so tired of making money from subsidy corruption that he had made enough. I don’t think I have ever seen someone who said he had made enough money.
“For someone to say that he had made enough money through fraud subsidy payment, that would give you a sense of the kind of corruption we are dealing with,” Obi said.
He expressed concerns about the poor state of the nation’s refineries, adding that modular refineries were not getting supply of crude oil.
On the agonies Nigerians are experiencing in the aftermath of the fuel subsidy removal, he said, “There is a number of things that we need to do to help in managing the situation and lessen the burden of the policies on the people. We also need to discuss with stakeholders to make it better.”