Using NNPC Proceeds on Social, Health Programmes Violates Constitution — PDP govs
The Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum Monday in Abuja said it was shocked by the admittance of the Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, that proceeds from the Nigeria National Petroleum Company limited were being used to directly fund social and health programmes and road infrastructure.
Reacting to a response from the Presidency on Sunday, the Governors labelled such a practice as an “unconstitutional overreach.”
“It is even shocking that Garba Shehu admits that funds from NNPC are now directly used to fund social and health programmes, road construction etc. in an unconstitutional overreach,” the Forum said.
Earlier, the Forum had declared the All Progressives Congress “unfit” to participate in the 2023 general elections urging Nigerians to steer clear of the APC at the polls.
They also quoted facts arguing that the APC-led government has worsened various aspects of Nigeria’s economy by 1000 per cent.
In its reaction on Sunday, however, the Presidency had accused the governors of playing politics of division and hate; saying that the country profits nothing from the PDP’s “gimmick.”
But in a statement signed on Monday by the director-general of the PDP Governors’ Forum, C.I.D. Maduabum titled ‘PDP governors’ forum rebuts Garba Shehu’s infantile response to PDP governors’ fact-filled communiqué the governors said “The most disturbing aspect of the APC misrule as chronicled in the communiqué is the petroleum sector.”
They explained that “The PDP Governors communiqué made a comparative sketch of Nigeria of 2015 under PDP and Nigeria of 2022 under APC. The communiqué reeled out the fact that in almost all sectors, things have gotten worse by over 1000 per cent. It reeled out figures on poverty, inflation, exchange rate, debt accumulation and corruption.
“Garba Shehu described the communiqué as a fantasy, delusional and fictional. He even derided the Nigerian armed forces as “phantom soldiers.
“Perhaps he was dazed by the sheer assemblage of facts, figures and evidence on the existential threat Nigeria is facing as a result of the APC misrule, concerning the economy, security, stealing of Nigeria’s crude, etc. as contained in the communiqué.”
In the Petroleum sector, the governors maintained that the “stealing of Nigeria’s crude oil and the connivance of NNPC in shortchanging other tiers of government, namely, States and Local Governments” is simply mind-boggling.
“NNPC is a law unto itself. Nobody can call them to order to desist from the part of lawlessness and unconstitutional acts it has chosen to dwell in.
“President Buhari is the minister of petroleum resources. Under his watch, Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is deteriorating. In an accountable government, he should have resigned his position as minister of petroleum, as a result of the cataclysmic failures in the sector.
“It is even shocking that Garba Shehu admits that funds from NNPC are now directly used to fund social and health programmes, road construction etc., in an unconstitutional overreach. NNPC can spend the Federal Government’s share of the Federation Account as it pleases. It cannot spend money belonging to other tiers of government without their approval.”
They further argued that pointing out the deteriorating state of affairs in the country has no link with influencing ethnic and religious tensions.
The PDP governors, therefore, urged the federal government to “wake up from its deep slumber.”