Monday, December 16, 2018 8.50AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare
On the evening of Friday December 14, 2018 precisely 7pm Nigerians across the globe were glued to their television sets to watch 5 candidates for the office of the Vice-President, debate the economy and policies ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The participating candidates include; Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima(VP Candidate, Allied Congress Party of Nigeria), Mrs Khadijah Abdullah Iya (VP Candidate, Alliance for New Nigeria Party), Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN (VP Candidate, All Progressives Congress Party) Mr Peter Obi(VP Candidates, People’s Democratic Party) and Mrs Umma Getso (VP Candidate, Youth Progressive Party).
It was a debate full of fireworks, the reeling of figures and statistics and expectedly the clash of ideas over the management of the economy.
In this article we highlight the views of the candidate on “Petroleum Subsidy”.
Alhaji Ganiyu Galadima of the ACPN said if his party is voted into power they will do away with Subsidy.
The focus will be the deregulation of the petroleum sector, which should attract new investments into the industry.
He believed the subsidy was benefitting the rich, at the detriment of the low income class in the country and his party will scrap it.
Mrs Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya of the ANN shared that the “Petroleum subsidy” has been fraught with corruption over the years in the country, which require strong institutional framework.
She said the masses were not getting any value from the subsidy, and the focus of her party if elected into office will be to drive an aggressive diversification of the economy from oil dependency.
The ANN VP candidate also shared that her party will reallocate the amount budgeted for subsidy to address the infrastructure issues in the country and driving other sectors of the economy, that will have wider impact on the populace.
For Professor Yemi Osinbajo the incumbent Vice-President of Nigeria and candidate of the APC, part of the challenge in the “petroleum subsidy” is the abuses and corruption which was prevalent in past administration.
He said under the APC government the state oil company the NNPC has been the sole importer bearing the costs.
The Vice-President asserted that there was no country in the globe that did not provide one of subsidy support for its citizens.
He argued that if “petroleum subsidy” are removed now Nigerians will be left for as high as N200 and above per litre for PMS, which will have adverse impact on the citizens.
Osinbajo maintained that at the moment the FG was addressing the economic issues, to boost the purchasing power parity of the citizens, as the petroleum subsidy will not be there for long.
On his part Mr Peter Obi the VP candidate of the PDP believed the “petroleum subsidy” was another way of subsidizing inefficiencies.
He decried the fact that the subsidy payments made were higher than the budgets for health care and education sectors annually.
Obi said the right thing must be done in terms of policy with the subsidy removed and channelled to human capital development, that will address the plight over 80ml poor Nigerians.
He made a strong point that with the right policy framework, the price of PMS will not be as high as being posited.
Mrs Umma Getso the VP candidate of the Youth Progressive Party, YPP in her view shared that the issues around “Petroleum subsidy” have remained a controversy considering the 2012 protests, that greeted the removal of the subsidy by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
She alluded to the statement credited to President Buhari that “Petroleum Subsidy is a scam” and that it has not benefitted the masses, but only aided corruption.