The Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose, has criticised Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over his recent claim regarding fuel subsidy, saying he does not want to believe that the Vice President is now among those lying to Nigerians in Buhari’s government.
After visiting the Oando and Total depot in Apapa, Lagos on Tuesday, Osinbajo had told journalists that the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, bears the cost of fuel subsidy and not the federal government.
According to him, “NNPC is trading in fuel; the federal government is not, at the moment, paying for any subsidy. NNPC is trading.
“If you are buying and selling fuel, you would have to be able to pay for it. So, it’s not a question of government provision for subsidy, the federal government, at the moment, isn’t paying any subsidy.”
The VP’s comments came after the NNPC group managing director, Maikanti Baru, said the landing cost of petrol is now N171 as against the official retail price of N145.
But in a statement issued by his media aide, Lere Olayinka, on Wednesday, Fayose wondered if there was any difference between the NNPC and the federal government.
He asked: “What is the difference between NNPC and the federal government? Who is NNPC and who is federal government? Is NNPC now an autonomous agency of the federal government?”
The governor asserted that contrary to what is being presented, the NNPC does not have the rights “to swap crude oil for subsidy” nor to spend money it generates from the sales of crude oil.
He asked: “Where is NNPC getting the money with which it is subsidising petrol with N26 per litre? Is NNPC spending money from the sales of crude oil that should be paid into the federation account to pay subsidy?
“I like the vice-president, he is a pastor and I don’t believe that he will also join others in Buhari’s government to lie to Nigerians.
“However, this one that he presented NNPC as an agency of the federal government that can allocate fund without the approval of the president is very strange to me.”
Fayose also wondered where the money “is coming from” if subsidy is being paid by the NNPC.
His words, “Is it from sales of crude oil? Does it now mean that the NNPC is spending part of the proceeds of the sale of crude oil outside allocation to the federal government by the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC)?.
“We were in Nigeria in May 2016, when the federal government announced the removal of subsidy on petrol and went on to increase the pump price of petrol to N145 per litre.
“The same APC people, who protested against removal of subsidy and increment of petrol price to N140 in 2012, defended the removal in 2016 and increment of pump price to N145.
“In 2017 budget of the federal government, provision was not made for the payment of fuel subsidy, so also that of 2018. So where is the N26 they are subsidizing one litre of petrol with coming from? Is the Buhari-led government spending fund not appropriated by the national assembly?”