PDP tackles APC over Tinubu’s manifesto on fuel subsidy removal
PDP says Tinubu’s manifesto failed to answer the question of whether he would increase the cost per litre of PMS or privatize the sector
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tackled the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu over his plan for subsidy removal if elected president in 2023.
Already, President Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure would come to an end in May 2023 has allocated N3.6tn to fund fuel subsidies for the first half of next year.
It is believed that any plan to remove the subsidy completely would inflict pain on Nigerians because it’ll automatically lead to a hike in fuel prices and inflation.
Reacting to this, the spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Daniel Bwala said the ruling party’s presidential candidate has to clarify how he intends to remove the subsidy without throwing Nigerians into hardship.
Bwala who spoke to The Punch on Sunday, October 23, 2022, said, “The APC and their candidate must clarify how they want to achieve this. It is their duty to provide this clarification”.
The immediate past National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan also challenged the APC presidential candidate to be specific on how he plans to deregulate the downstream sector.
Ologbondiyan said Tinubu’s manifesto failed to answer the question of whether he would increase the cost per litre of PMS or privatize the sector to realize his goal.
He said, “Atiku Abubakar has promised a phased withdrawal of subsidy in a manner that will not put absurd pressure on the economic life of Nigerians”.
Responding to a question on whether Tinubu’s plan would sustain the N174 per litre price for fuel or increase it to address the attendant inflation, the APC Presidential Campaign Council spokesman, Festus Keyamo said Nigerians should learn to look at the benefits.
Keyamo said, “It is very simple. When you remove subsidy, you can now have more funding for salary increase to placate labour and more funding for infrastructural development to employ more people. What is central to our development is to remove subsidy. There is no doubt about it. We are spending as it is today between N250b to N300b monthly. I place emphasis on monthly.’’
Fuel subsidy is one of the key issues presidential candidates are expected to proffer solutions to in their campaigns. As it is, if the issue remains unaddressed, the Federal Government may have to spend at least N3.6 trillion on fuel subsidies next year.