PDP Governors List Failures of Buhari Administration
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governors elected under the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have lamented the excruciating hardship and suffering Nigerians are currently going through.
The Governors under the PDP Governors’ Forum said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has turned the country upside down, making life very difficult for citizens.
They said the lives of Nigerians under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari have been miserable unlike when the PDP was in power from 1999 to 2015.
At the end of their meeting in Aba, Abia State, they said the opposition party was ready to “take over and offer qualitative leadership options to rescue the nation,” appealing to Nigerians “to reject the APC” in the 2023 general elections.
They claimed the failures of the ruling party as below;
Diesel which is critical for the running of SMEs was N131.47 in 2015, it now costs above N700
- Fuel: Official and Black-Market was N87/155 in 2015, it now costs N167/350.
- Aviation Fuel/Air Ticket Rate on Domestic Flights was N110 per Litre/N18,000 in 2015, it now hovers around N700 per Litre/N70,000, where available. Indeed, the scarcity of fuel that has resulted in the loss of several man-hours is a disgrace to Nigeria.
- The collapse of the National Grid (126 times in 7 years – (June 2015 to March 2022) and its consequences for non-availability of power is most unfortunate.
- Kerosene (NHK) used by the ordinary Nigerian for cooking and power was N180 in 2015, it now sells at N450.
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) – 12.5kg Cylinder sold for N2,400 in 2015, is now sold at between N8,750 and N10, 000.
- Prices of basic foodstuffs are now three times higher than what they used to be in 2015. Staple foods such as rice, beans, cassava flakes are now slipping out of the hands of average Nigerians. Indeed, a Bag of Rice sold for N8500 in 2015 is now N39,000.
- Electricity was N14.23 per kilowatt in 2015, it is now N38.530, and not even available.
- The unemployment rate was 11.4% in 2015, it is now over 33%, one of the highest in the world.
- The poverty rate in 2015 was 11.3% but now about 42.8%.
- Accumulated Inflation in 2015 was about 4%, it is now 15.50%; Inflation Rate was 9.01% in 2015 and now 15.7%.
- Perhaps the Exchange Rate has been one of the most disastrous. N150 to a dollar was the parallel market (patronised by most businessmen and Nigerians) rate in 2015, it is now about N580 to $1 in the parallel market and still rising.
- Debt and Debt Servicing: Domestic Debt of N8.4T and External Debt of USD 7.3b was incurred between 1999-2015.
While Domestic Debt of N7.63T (June 2015-Dec 2020) and USD28.57b as at Dec 2020 was incurred. External debt of USD21.27b was incurred between June 2015 and 2021.
- National Debt to GDP Ratio was 23.41% (2016) it is now 36.88% (2022).
- The Corruption Index has risen from 136 in 2015 to 150 now.
- Nigeria’s Misery Index, an indicator used in determining how economically well off the citizens of a country are, is usually calculated by adding the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to the annual inflation rate, which has moved from 14.75 per cent in 2015 to 50.48 (2021).
- The major threat to the agricultural sector and food security in Nigeria is insecurity. In the northeast of Nigeria, it is estimated that no fewer than 70,000 hectares of arable farmland have been abandoned in the affected States and Local Government areas. The trend is the same all over the country. This further contributes to food inflation. The APC led Federal Government must take steps to cooperate with States to bring security down to the grassroots.
In addition, the Governors accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited of siphoning money with the support of Mr Buhari, who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum.
“The PDP Governors once again decried the inability of the NNPC to make its statutory contributions to the Federation Account, in spite of oil selling at above $110. It is patently unconstitutional for NNPC to determine at its whim and discretion when and what to pay to the Federation Account, as it is a mere trustee of the funds for the three tiers of Government: Federal, States and Local Governments. We once again, call for investigations and audits of the quantity of consumption of fuel ascribed to Nigerians and for the deployment of technology at the filling stations to determine in a transparent manner the volume of consumption.
“The Governors would resist any further attempt by NNPC to ascribe unsubstantiated subsidy claims to other tiers of government.
“NNPC deducts N8.33 billion monthly for the rehabilitation of the refineries in Nigeria. To date, no refinery is working.
“On priority projects of the nation’s oil industry, NNPC deducted N788.78 billion for various investments between 2018 and 2021 without recourse to FAAC.
“NNPC in 2021 alone claimed to have paid over One Trillion Naira as petroleum subsidy. Indeed, in the month of March 2022, N220 billion was deducted as oil subsidy with a promise that N328 billion will be deducted in April 2022. This is unacceptable.
“NNPC and FIRS, as well as other remitting agencies, continue to apply an exchange rate of N389/$1 as against the Import and Export window of N416/$1. The extent of this leakage can be better felt if this rate is compared to the current N570/$1.
“From available records about N7.6T is withheld between 2012 and 2021, by NNPC from the Federation Account. All these are said to be payments for oil subsidies.
“Conclusively, we believe that all these leakages in NNPC have been made possible because the President is also the Minister of Petroleum. The urgent separation of these two portfolios has become necessary,” they alleged.