*Cautions Tinubu, others to stop pushing pecuniary interests
By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to reduce the pump price of fuel from N125 per litre to an appropriate price that should not exceed N90 per litre.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Sunday insists that given the fall in the 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 litre. He said that the cost template should be immediately implemented to ease the economic burden on Nigerians and further serve as palliative for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our party maintains 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 will immediately ease burdens and enable our 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 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 party stated.
According to the statement, the CBN should be circumspect over the attempt by APC leader, Asiwaju 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 alerts that Senator Tinubu’s sudden and unsolicited interest in palliative funds, without proffering instruments that will 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,” he said.
The PDP therefore urged the CBN to hedge its system from APC leaders and immediately develop strategies that will 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 party suggested the use of 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.”