A member of House of Representatives, Oladipupo Adebutu said President Muhammadu Buhari has committed grave democratic crime with the N774m daily subsidy claim on fuel importation.
The lawmaker representing Remo Federal Constituency in Ogun State said this, Wednesday, while addressing journalists after a stakeholders’ meeting of People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Odeda area of the state.
Adebutu alleged that monies meant for other projects are being diverted for the purpose of paying subsidy without proper budgeting by the National Assembly.
According to him, the issue is being addressed and that the consequence and journey would be concluded.
He said, “I can assure you the matter is being addressed. It is being addressed to the extent that we truly believe that monies meant for other projects have been diverted for the purpose of paying subsidy, which is not budgeted for.
“The consequence and the journey that will lead us to, I don’t know. But remember, when you spend money not authorised by the National Assembly, it is a grave democratic crime.”
Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC said, over the weekend, that the Corporation was incurring N774 million to subsidise importation of fuel giving the landing cost of the product.
The GMD who revealed this during a visit on the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hamed Ali, blamed the development on smuggling of the product allegedly by marketers.
Baru said: “Based on the heightened petrol consumption rate of 50 million litre per day, the corporation was incurring an under-recovery of N774 million every day.”
Spending outside budgetary allocation constitutes a gross misconduct, which is an impeachable offence according to the 1999 constitution.
Another member of the party and a former member of Ogun State House of Assembly, Soyeyemi Coker also corroborated Adebutu’s position saying the subsidy is illegal.
He said: “You will find out that when PDP government was in power, they were more transparent in terms of this is what we wanted to do. We wanted to increase the prices so that we could do away with subsidy. The masses said they didn’t want it at that time.
“As a listening government, we actually conceded to the wishes of our people. But today, you’d find that the government there is not even listening to the people. It’s going about its business the way it wants.
“Prices have gone from N68 to N145 and even at N145 today, it’s even a problem getting it. And they’ve put the benchmark at N145 but you find out that the benchmark in reality is N180.
“But they are going through the backdoor in paying subsidy without actually letting people know transparently how much they are paying on this subsidy.
“But at the end of the day, I think our people are wiser now and they cannot be fooled. They know there are subsidies but these are illegal subsidies. I know our people subsequently would understand and they know what to do.”
Adebutu, while speaking on the chances of PDP in 2019 said the party would not only come back to power but would ensure a peaceful and prosperous nation.
“We have seen the polarisation, the issue of herdsmen, agitation for all manner of partitioning of Nigeria.
“By the grace of God, I’m certain that when we come back to the helm of affairs of Nigeria, these agitations will diminish again and we shall have a very peaceful, prosperous nation again.”
Coker, on the other hand said the Senator Representing Ogun East at the National Assembly, Senator Buruji Kashamu is a Lone Wolf crying in the forest.
He said, “If you look at the court injunction, if you look at the personalities, if you look at the people, you will find out that he is a lone wolf crying in the forest.
“And in due time when winter is over and he can no longer walk, he will come back to the party and you will find out that whatever he is doing at the moment, he is only seeking for relevance.”