The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as fictitious the claim by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it spends N24 billion monthly and N774 million per day on subsidising pump price of fuel for Nigerians.
The party, in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the figures as fictitious.
It said it was "cleverly fabricated to retire the already exposed stealing of trillions of naira by Presidency cabal and APC interests in secret oil deals".
The PDP said it is duplicitous for the NNPC to claim a sudden surge in fuel purchase expenses at the same time that the nation faced the "harshest fuel shortage across the country with Nigerians paying exorbitantly for the product."
The PDP also called on the Buhari-led administration to come clean on the subsidy issue, which it claimed it had abolised but had apparently re-introduced without appropriate endorsement by the National Assembly.
"Nigerians are shocked by moves by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled Federal Government to cover huge fraud in the Presidency by declaring that it spends a humongous N24 billion monthly (N774million per day) to subsidise fuel in the country. The APC-led Presidency is drawing its deceptive proclivity and concealment of fraud too far; and to think that such is hatched in a sector that is under the direct supervision of President Muhammadu Buhari as minister of petroleum affairs is most disheartening.
"This is the same Presidency that claimed to have abolished fuel subsidy payments and even accused the immediate past administration of alleged corruption in its subsidy management. It is therefore strange that the same government can pull out unimaginable figures and claim it is the cost of subsidy enjoyed by Nigerians.
"How come that with such humongous sums, Nigerians are still paying as high as N250 to N300 per liter on fuel in various parts of the country? We have since charged the Buhari-led Presidency to come out clear on the truth on the administration of subsidy under its watch. The question is; why is the Federal Government cloaking the subsidy regime in secrecy if not to conceal its duplicity?"
"Nigerians need to know; who in the Presidency approved the spending of the said N774million per day as fuel subsidy and who are the benefiting companies? Is the subsidy captured in any appropriation instrument of the National Assembly? What is the cost of landing imported fuel to the depots and at what exchange rate? Where are the details of the subsidy pay-out and the negotiating options and contracts?"
The party also made reference to the claims made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, detailing questionable deals under NNPC boss, Maikanti Baru.
"In reeling out its figures, the Presidency has forgotten that Nigerians are still waiting for its explanations on the leaked memo showing alleged corrupt oil contracts at the NNPC to the tune of N9 trillion ($25billion dollars).
"The Presidency has also refused to offer explanations to the alleged involvement of its officials in various sneaky oil subsidy deals and reported diversion of N1.1trillion worth of crude last year to service APC interests.
"Our take is that Nigerians must be told the truth at all times and not be made to suffer for the fraud being perpetrated by APC interests and the cabal at the Presidency."