Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday called on the National Assembly to set up a committee that would investigate the money the federal government paid out as subsidies since 2015 in order to uncover alleged fraudulent practices among the regulators of Nigeria’s oil industry.
The PDP also insisted that the appropriate price for the premium motor spirit (PMS) in Nigeria should be N70 per litre and pledged that it would continue to monitor the deregulation of the price of the petroleum products.
The party’s call came at the heel of recent announcement by the federal government that it would deregulate the price of the petroleum products.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said the party has been following and studying the ongoing discussion between the federal government and oil marketers regarding the pricing of petroleum products in Nigeria.
“As a party, our position on the pump price of fuel in our country has not changed. Nigerians are aware of our consistent support for the deregulation of the downstream to allow market forces to guide pricing activities.
“Our position remains that if market forces are truly allowed to determine the price of petroleum products in our country, Nigerians will not be buying fuel at a price beyond N70 per litre,” he said.
Ologbondiyan directed the attention of Nigerians to the fact the President Muhammadu Buhari had declared fuel subsidy a fraud before he became te President of the country.
He alleged that there have been over charges on fuel price in the past five years, particularly since the fall in oil price in the international market.
The PDP’s spokesperson called on the federal government to declare and surrender the proceeds of the overcharges for the benefit of Nigerians and made the product available to Nigerians at affordable prices.
He enjoined the government not to use the deregulation as a pretence to sweep the issue of overcharge and subsidy fraud under the carpet.
According to him, “government should also recover N14 trillion stolen in the oil sector in the last five years and use it to revamp the country’s petroleum refineries in order to push prices further down and create jobs and employment opportunities.
The party assured that it would continue to study the procedures used by the federal government to deregulate the sector to ensure that Nigerians were not shortchanged.