By Festus Keyamo
Ahead of the looming defeat of the PDP at the Presidential polls next month and faced with imminent collapse of his cherished political empire in Kwara, the Director General (DG) of the PDP Presidential Campaign, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has resorted to baseless campaign of calumny directed at the person of Mr. President.
Dr. Bukola Saraki’s resort to poorly choreographed and worn-out political brinksmanship is fueled by the obvious absence of any credible agenda or bearing to present to Nigerians in their campaigns.
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In clear demonstration of hallucination with figures, Dr. Bukola Saraki claimed, in an interview with Channels Television a few days ago, that Nigeria’s petrol consumption is about 20-22 million Iitres per day and that the current import level of about 50million litres is a scam and fraudulent.
However, the same Dr. Bukola Saraki was in the 7th Senate and knows very well that in 2014 and part of 2015, the PDP Government that was in power was reporting to Nigerians daily PMS consumption of 35-40 million litres per day. (In January, 2014 for example, the average monthly consumption was 38 million Iitres per day. By January, 2015 under the same government of PDP, they reported 36 milIion Iitres per day and March 2015, the daily consumption reported by PDP government was 45 million Iitres per day, whilst importing at levels above 80million litres per day).
Strangely, years later, the PDP Campaign DG is peddling a phantom fuel consumption figure of 20-22 million litres per day.
The PDP Chief Campaigner discountenanced the obvious fact that within the last three years of the current administration, the Nigerian economy that PDP left in comatose has been jump-started to vibrancy leading to remarkable changes in energy consumption needs and patterns.
The allegation that the national oil company prevailed on Mr. President not to seek appropriation for subsidy and to rather treat it as cost under-recovery is not only laughable and mischievous, but it is a blatant lie.
Verifiable records indicate that NNPC has never claimed subsidy payment from any government in its history of operation. All NNPC’s transactions in this regard have been treated as product costs under-recovery.
The Corporation, like any other business entity, does its business and recovers its cost from its revenues.
It is instructive to note that in his rush to indict the NNPC and the President, willy-nilly, Dr. Bukola Saraki forgot that a Senate Committee was set up by him to investigate the intervention of NNPC in PMS imports.
The mandate of the Committee includes volumes, costs and any associated under-recoveries. The big question remains; why would he not wait for the outcome of the Committee he set up to investigate the matter? Is it because he believes the outcome of his Committee will not satisfy his predetermined mindset?
Nigerians should therefore ignore the tantrums of Dr. Bukola Saraki as it concern the oil and gas sector.