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Fuel Price Hike: Buhari’s hands tied, says Osinbajo

By News Express on 18/05/2016

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo give insight into President Muhammadu Buhari’s stand on increase in the pump price of petrol yesterday.

Osinbajo said as one who had always kicked against hike in the price of petrol, his boss had no choice but to succumb to the increment last week.

The vice president said it was the hardest decision Buhari had to make.

Osinbajo laid this bare at the public presentation of Anatomy of Corruption in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges & Solutions, a collection of essays edited by Yusuf O. Ali, (SAN) yesterday.

He gave reasons for t he increment inadequate foreign currency and that even if all four refineries in the country worked at optimal levels, they would only be able to meet 40 per cent domestic consumption.

“If there is one person in Nigeria who believes that petroleum prices should not go up by one naira, it is President Buhari.”

Osinbajo reiterated that the president simply had no other option than agree to the increase and added that although Buhari did not want the fuel price to go up, “he was left with no choice. What can we do if we don’t have foreign currency, we have to import fuel?”

The vice president also gave reasons why importation of fuel will not abate soon.

“Even if we repair our refineries today, we would still be able to refine 40 percent of our petroleum, so, we still need to import. In the absence of foreign exchange and you have to import your refined petroleum, what are you left with? A lot of the problems associated with the refineries are corruption related,” he said. He noted that corruption “explains why many states are owing salaries and continue to owe salaries.”

Stressing the consequences of corruption, Buhari’s deputy said: “When you consider that today, Nigeria’s reserves stands at about $27 billion and we are investigating $15 billion from one sector alone, that is over half of the entire reserves of the country. We are investigating cases which shows that over $15 billion was lost in one type of contract alone. We are not talking of oil contracts, we are talking of security related contracts alone. We have not talked at all about oil contracts involving several billions.”

•Excerpted from a Daily Sun report. Photo shows Vice President Osinbajo.

 

Source News Express

Posted 18/05/2016 05:02:02 AM

 

 

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