The Action Congress Of Nigeria, ACN, has raised questions over President Goodluck Jonathan’s plan to buy two more planes this year, which would increase the presidential fleet to over 10, saying his government has woefully failed after taking an overview of the socio-political situation of the country.
The party said the British Prime Minister has no private jet and also the U.S. President, Barrack Obama pays for his food.
The party also called for the immediate suspension of the Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, so that she is not the one supervising the investigation of her ministry.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, the National Secretary of the party, Lawal Shuaibu, stated that the key issues wrong with Jonathan’s administration is corruption, gross incompetency and public distrust. He added that information from ‘heavily guarded government records have since shown the colossal amount of embezzlement, rip-off and wastage that has been the hallmark of the PDP government.’
The statement in part: ‘These data, which are still emerging, have raised several questions. How did N240 billion subsidy in the 2011 budget grow astronomically to N1.3 trillion by October 2011 (reaching about N1.6 trillion by December 2011)?
‘How did the number of companies involved in fuel importation shoot up from only 11 in February 2011 to 120, more than 10 times, by the next month March 2011?
‘How exactly was the Jonathan Presidential campaign funded where daily media expenses was estimated at about N100 million? Where did the lavish Neighbour to Neighbour campaign get its funds from? Is this not all funded by the racket called fuel subsidy?’
‘The recent KPMG audit report on NNPC that shows about N800 billion revenue leakage from the Federation Account and another revenue leakage of N1.2 trillion from the down stream operations symbolises the rot in that organisation.’
‘One looks at this year’s budget to discover the ridiculous amounts allocated on beverages and snacks, computers and scanners put at five to 10 times their market prices; worst still huge amounts allocated simply as welfare packages and unbelievable sums for vaguely defined budget lines.’
‘The allocation of nearly a trillion Naira for national security, several times more than the meagre allocation for the power sector, is all in the same spirit. What we are witnessing is not just the depth of the rot but that corruption has reached a suffocating level that the country and its people cannot breathe until we deal with it.’
‘Today, a great majority of citizens do not trust this government. They have said as much to the glare of the media.
‘The recent ambush of citizens by their government in declaring over 100 per cent increase in the price of fuel when they had given the impression that consultation would continue until April, had shattered the hearts of many citizens.
‘This gross breach of trust means that whatever the ministers and propaganda mouthpieces say is dismissed outright. Unfortunately it is lost on government that citizens do not trust it anymore.’
‘Our foreign debts, wiped out only recently, have started to build up again, while internal debt has reached a horrific level of almost N5trillion.
‘Excess crude account has hit the bottom, while the Foreign Reserves are hitting the rocks.
‘In this kind of situation, no patriotic citizen can rest. It behoves us as the leading opposition party to mobilise citizens under all forums and organisations to salvage our country from the hands of these outright incompetent managers.’
The ACN also condemned the unilateral review of the price of petrol from N141 to N97, saying: ‘What happens to the budget that was submitted to the NASS? Is this going to add to the existing budget deficit of more than one trillion Naira? How does the government intend to finance the deficit in the first place?’
‘The president has already bloated the federal bureaucracy by increasing the number of ministries from 21 to close to 40 with the number of ministers jumping in equal quantum or even more.
‘The large number of 20 Special Advisers approved by the NASS has been unilaterally increased to 25. Who will believe his sermons about sacrifices?’
Stating ways of correcting some of these, the party asked the president to withdraw the bloated budget and slash the recurrent expenditure by 50 per cent, trim the size of his government, suspend the Minister of Petroleum Resources, and appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to probe the rot in the ministry.
The party also urged the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee to immediately commence investigation into the KPMG report and at the same time investigate who authorised the payment of the so-called subsidy that rose from N240billion naira to over N1.4 trillion in the 2011 budget without appropriation.