Atiku accuses FG of diverting public funds through petrol subsidy

By Innocent Raphael 

In a recent statement, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar accused President Bola Tinubu’s administration of diverting public funds via the petrol subsidy, alleging that the government has not disclosed the expenditure details.

Reports emerged on Wednesday suggesting the federal government might suspend import duties on food and drugs, based on a document titled ‘Inflation Reduction and Price Stability (Fiscal Policy Measures) Order 2024’.

In the same vein, another document, titled ‘Accelerated Stabilisation and Advancement Plan (ASAP)’, proposed a N5.4 trillion allocation for petrol subsidies before the year’s end.

However, the presidency clarified on Thursday that these fiscal policy documents are not approved. Wale Edun, the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, emphasized that policymaking is an iterative process involving multiple drafts and discussions. 

According to the Federal Government, the official stance on these documents will be provided after comprehensive reviews and approvals.

Edun also refuted claims that the government has budgeted N5.4 trillion for petrol subsidies in 2024.

However, in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, the former Vice President accused Edun of disowning a document he authored. He claimed that despite reports from the World Bank and the IMF confirming that Nigeria is still paying petrol subsidies, the Tinubu administration refuses to be transparent. 

He also highlighted that even a senior APC member had acknowledged the continued payment of subsidies.

In further remarks, Abubakar criticized Tinubu’s inconsistency and urged the administration to be accountable and transparent about the subsidy issue. 

Arguing that this lack of clarity and honesty could deter foreign investment, the former Vice President called on the National Assembly to investigate the matter thoroughly, rather than focusing on less critical issues, to ensure that public funds are not being misappropriated.

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