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THE National Chariman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oye­gun, said at the weekend that the Buhari administration inherited a corrupt subsidy regime run by corrupt cartels.
He said, “oil cartels and their cronies resisting change have continued to blackmail and sabotage government’s effort on subsidy and availability of petroleum products”
He spoke in his New Year message. This is even as he said the ruling party will deliver on its campaign promises, saying 2015 was a difficult year for Nigerians
Odigie-Oyegun urged Ni­gerians to sustain the hope that brighter days are ahead of us, adding that even in the face of legion of challenges, the party has the courage and determina­tion to rise up and meet them.
“While 2015 was difficult for many Nigerians, we must also look back, with relief and a collective sense of jubilation, to the momentous opportunity it offered to the electorate to make the long-desired change of po­litical leadership at the federal level and in many states.
According to him, the presi­dential directive to the Petro­leum Products Pricing Regula­tory Agency (PPPRA) to adjust its pricing template to reflect competitive and market driven components should be sup­ported. The review of PPPRA’s pricing template will result in a more efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and result in constant availability of fuel nation-wide.
“It is also reassuring that Ni­geria is winning the war against insurgency. With their welfare now taken care more seri­ously, the morale of our gallant troops in combat areas has been heightened. The international community is cooperating with Nigeria’s military offensives, including sharing of intelligence information, to end insurgency in Nigeria, as part of the efforts to combat global terrorism.
“In spite of desperate and shameless attempts to discredit President Buhari’s anti-cor­ruption efforts, the war against graft is being won. It is reassur­ing that the Federal Government has recovered huge sums from looters of our common wealth, which will be injected into the 2016 national budget.
“The state of government infrastructure has improved. Electricity supply has improved in most parts of the country. Eleven years after the disman­tling of toll gates on federal roads, the present administra­tion has signalled its intention to reintroduce toll gates in a bid to generate revenue for road main­tenance and in line with global best practice.
“The present administration is also reviewing concessions arrangements and exploring ways of leveraging on Public- Private Partnership (PPP) ar­rangements in road construc­tion and other infrastructural projects.
“Job creation and social inclusion are critical to the ad­ministration’s development programmes, as a response to unemployment, poverty and inequality. To this end, Presi­dent Buhari has promised that 500,000 new teachers would be recruited among other job cre­ation initiatives.
“I want to give a firm as­surance that all the promises made by the party in respect of the 2015 elections to Nige­rians will be kept. The New Year holds great dividends for Nigerians when the policies of the Buhari’s administration are enforced full blast in the 2016 financial year,” he said.
“The unprecedented N6.08 trillion ‘Budget of Change’ pre­sented by the President to a joint session of the National Assem­bly provides ample framework to deliver on these promises.
“These include the proposed social welfare programmes, which will pay unemployed Ni­gerian graduates (post-NYSC grant); feed school children and cater for a larger population of the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians.
“As a result of the full imple­mentation of the Treasury Sin­gle Account (TSA), the Federal Government is now able to in real-time electronically track and monitor all government revenue inflows and disburse­ments, a development that has greatly plugged revenue leak­ages.
Meanwhile, the APC said yesterday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should blame itself for its current state, describing it as as childish and laughable the conspiracy theory being handled by the latter over its misfortune.
It said PDP members who are genuinely inspired by the APC administration are wel­come to the APC fold, saying “it is their right to abandon a sinking ship and join one that is smooth-sailing.”
Odigie-Oyegun, who dis­closed this in a statement, de­scribed as laughable PDP’s claim that the APC is afraid that the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), who is currently stand­ing trial on corruption charges, may be eyeing the Presidency in 2019.
PDP National Publicity Sec­retary, Olisah Metuh, had al­leged in a statement that “the Federal Government is per­secuting, and not prosecuting Col. Dasuki. The APC and its leaders fear that Dasuki, given his vast political and security network, may be harbouring a presidential ambition, moreso that the PDP has zoned its presi­dential ticket to the North.”