Buhari Challenges Atiku over Pledge to Crash Fuel Price

Muhammadu Buhari

*Puts landing cost of PMS at N205 per litre

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation has asked the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to tell Nigerians what magic they intend to conjure to bring down pump price of fuel to N97 per litre without resorting to subsidy.

Buhari’s campaign organisation said that from the facts at its disposal, landing cost of Premium Motor Spirit (popular known as fuel) hovers around N205 per litre.
The campaign team said such ambitious claim by Atiku to crash fuel price can only mean a return to full-blown subsidy payment with its attendant fraud.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by the Director, Strategic Communications, Festus Keyamo (SAN), the campaign organisation said Nigerians will like to know details of the transparent system Atiku intends to adopt to achieve the crash in fuel price.

“Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the PDP a few days ago that its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will, if elected President, crash the pump price of petrol to N97 per litre. However, there is no better evidence of desperation and phantom promises by the main opposition’s candidate than this statement,’ it said.

The Buhari campaign team said it had become necessary for Nigerians to interrogate Atiku further in order for him to lay bare before the Nigerian people the so-called “template” he had developed to crash the price.

“This is not a game of tricks or hide-and-seek. He must come clean. Nigerians await the details of the transparent system Atiku Abubakar intends to adopt that would eliminate fraudulent cash payments to middlemen and make the product available at all times.”

PDP had said that its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had worked out a pricing template that will immediately crash the pump price of fuel in the country, since the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, in its insensitivity, had failed to do the needful in the last three years.

PDP also said it completely rejects the government’s increase of the official prices of diesel and kerosene, stating that such will bring more economic pressure on the already impoverished nation, as most businesses and homes across the country heavily depend on these products for sustenance.

The opposition party’s Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said they were in high level talks with top international players in the oil and gas industry, adding that its engagements has shown that the appropriate pump price of fuel in the Nigerian market ought to be around N87 to N90 per litre as against the N145 currently being charged.

PDP lamented the ugly trend whereby FG allowed fuel to be sold at 145 per litre and watch Nigerians groan under the weight of high prices, while a cabal loots the funds meant to subsidise the product.

But in the statement, Buhari campaign team said that at today’s international price of gasoline, no supplier will ever contemplate any scheme that will deliver products at such ridiculous price, adding that those who knew the true situation must be having a good “laugh at the opposition”.

The campaign team said from available facts, the actual landing cost of the Premium Motor Spirit at the moment stands at N205 per litre.

“A simple check at the international prices will show that even at the world market where gasoline is procured, it will cost not less than N158 to procure a litre of crude oil. When you add the cost of refining, plus freight, finance and port charges (premium), there is no magic that one would employ to supply the finished product at N145 a litre. Presently, the landing cost of the product in Nigeria hovers around N205 per litre,” it said.

The Buhari campaign organisation said the President had worked out a transparent system whereby the whole subsidy regime and scam had been totally eliminated as there is no cash incentive or payment again to middlemen.