HomeOpinion#Atiku Accuses Tinubu’s Government of Diverting Public Funds After Insisting Fuel Subsidy...

#Atiku Accuses Tinubu’s Government of Diverting Public Funds After Insisting Fuel Subsidy is Gone

By HEADLINENEWS.NEWS Correspondent 

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, has accused the Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration of diverting public funds through petrol subsidy.

Atiku said the secrecy surrounding the subsidy payment and the administration’s refusal to make public how much is being spent on the venture leave much to be desired.

n a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, on Thursday, Atiku urged the Federal Government to demonstrate bravery in taking ownership of its policies and their consequences and be accountable to Nigerians.

On Wednesday, Atiku challenged Tinubu’s administration to cease what he alleged was misleading the public about its stance on petrol subsidy.

He stated that despite Tinubu’s public statements regarding petrol subsidy removal, the administration had been covertly disbursing trillions of naira for petrol subsidy.

A document leaked to the media on Wednesday showed that the Federal Government spent N3.6tn in 2023 on subsidy and projected to spend N5.4tn in 2024.

The document’s position was contrary to the declaration by Tinubu during his inaugural speech as president on May 29, 2023, where he declared, “Subsidy is gone.”

The Presidency, on Thursday, however, debunked the document in a statement by the Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga.

Onanuga insisted that “The fuel subsidy regime has ended. There is no N5.4 trillion being provisioned for it in 2024, as being widely speculated and discussed.”

The former vice president said the clandestine subsidy regime was one of the reasons investments in the oil sector had refused to come in.

“Tinubu has brought the shady nature of running Lagos to the federal level. He claims subsidy is gone but his Special Adviser on Energy, Olu Verheijen, says they are intervening from time to time, while his Finance Minister, Wale Edun, described subsidy removal as an ‘ongoing process’.

“A document authored by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy revealing how much subsidy is being paid is now being disowned by the very authors of the document.

“Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have revealed in separate reports that Nigeria is still paying petrol subsidies, but the Tinubu government refuses to come clean. Even a senior member of the APC had revealed that the subsidy was being paid.

“For a man who claims to be on a mission to attract foreign direct investment, it is ironic that he cannot see that his policy flip-flops and lies are capable of dissuading investors. He must come clean on this subsidy issue since he doubles as the petroleum minister.

“The Tinubu administration should be courageous enough to own its policies and outcome with full chest and be responsible enough to be accountable for its actions to Nigerians,” the statement read.

He stressed the importance of the National Assembly prioritising the investigation of the matter, instead of concentrating on trivial matters.

It continued, “This denial lends credence that money meant for the Federation Account, which ought to be shared with states and local governments, is being diverted without any form of accountability whatsoever.

“There is a need for the National Assembly to get to the bottom of the matter, rather than focusing on frivolous issues.

“The National Assembly needs to be alive to its responsibilities, especially in the area of oversight. Posterity will not be kind to members of the National Assembly if they continue to look the other way while daylight robbery is taking place.”

 

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