The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reduce the pump price of fuel from a ‘cosmetic’ N125 per liter to an appropriate price that should not exceed N90 per liter.
Buhari recently reduced the pump price of petroleum from N145 to N125.
But the PDP argued that given the fall of price of crude in the international market to below $30 per barrel, the appropriate domestic price for fuel should be between N80 to N90 per liter; “a cost template that should be immediately implemented to ease the economic burden on Nigerians and further serve as palliative for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The party also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to be wary of suggestion proffered by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, which it described as “hazy financial theories that will end up diverting public funds”.
The PDP, in a statement by its national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday said that any further delay in the reduction of fuel price amounts to fleecing of Nigerians at a time government should rather concentrate on efforts that would immediately ease burdens and enable the citizens battle health and economic concerns worsened by the coronavirus disease.
The party therefore urged agencies of government, particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to be wary of alleged attempts by some All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to hijack fiscal procedures and push hazy financial theories that will end up diverting public resources into their hands, away from the poor Nigerians in the informal sector who are in dire need of social remedies due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PDP said the CBN should be circumspect over the alleged attempt by APC leader, Asuwaju Bola Tinubu, to hide under social palliatives for the COVID-19 impact, already advocated by the PDP and other well-meaning Nigerians, to covertly sell a parochial pecuniary agenda of APC leaders and the cabal.
The PDP claimed that Senator Tinubu’s sudden and unsolicited interest in palliative funds, without proffering instruments that would guarantee direct disbursement to the poor masses and check diversions, raises serious issues of ostensible attempt to prey on our national economy at this critical time.
“It indeed speaks volumes that while the PDP and other patriotic Nigerians and organizations have been rallying for solution, the APC has not made any meaningful suggestion for solution.
“Rather, its leaders are busy seeking to use the unfortunate situation to further plunder our national economy”, the PDP said.
The PDP therefore urged the CBN to hedge its system from APC leaders and immediately develop strategies that would enable it to directly reach the poor masses in the informal sector for disbursement of fiscal palliative to cushion the effect of the COVID-19.
“The CBN should explore ways of routing the intervention to the people using their Bank Verification Number (BVN) data in various banks in addition to other social welfare programmes that would directly reach the unemployed and the elderly.
“The PDP further urged the Federal Government to immediately develop an emergency subsidy instrument that will lead to drastic cut in the cost of food and other essential household commodities that had sharply risen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In addition to our earlier demand for a review of all tax regimes, particularly the Value Added Tax (VAT), the PDP also asks the Federal Government not only to suspend all Personal Income Taxes but also refund such taxes collected in the last two months as further palliatives to citizens,” the party said.