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ADEBUTU: “Funds for Capital Projects are Being Diverted for Fuel Subsidy”
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Rural Development, Oladipupo Adebutu, on Monday said funds appropriated for capital projects in the country are being diverted to pay for fuel subsidy.
Adebutu, who stated that the development was being looked into by the National Assembly, threatened severe sanctions against any public official found guilty of expenditure not authorised.
The legislator stated this immediately after inaugurating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Odeda Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The House committee Chairman on rural development also donated power transformers to some communities.
At the event, a former House of Representatives member, Kayode Amusan, former House of Assembly Speaker, Soyemi Coker, and a party stalwart, Olumide Aderinokun, declared that a rebranded PDP will return to power in 2019 and fix the nation’s problems.
Speaking against the backdrop of revelation by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that subsidy payment on fuel had hit N774million daily, Adebutu lamented over the neglect of rural areas in the scheme of things.
He alleged that monies meant for other projects had been diverted to fuel subsidy payment which, according to him, is extra-budgetary expenditure.
He said : “I can assure you the matter is being addressed. It is being addressed to the extent that we truly believe that monies meant for other projects have been diverted for the purpose of paying subsidy which is not budgeted for.
“The consequence and the journey that will lead us to, I don’t know. But remember: when you spend money not authorised by the National Assembly, it is a grave democratic crime.”
Adebutu, representing Remo Federal Constituency, noted that various problems had bedevilled Nigeria owing to the incapacity of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
In his submission, Coker lambasted the APC of lack of transparency and sincerity of purpose in the running of the nation’s affairs.
The former assembly Speaker said that the Federal Government had been paying illegal subsidy and condoning corruption in the oil sector.
He said, “You will find out that when PDP government was in power, they were more transparent. We wanted to increase the prices so that we could do away with subsidy.
” Nigerians said they didn’t want it at that time. As a listening government, we actually conceded to the wishes of our people.
“But today, you’d find that the government there is not even listening to the people. It’s going about its business the way it wants. Prices have gone from N68 to N145 and even at N145 today, it’s even a problem getting it.
“And they’ve put the benchmark at N145 but you find out that the benchmark in reality is N180. But they are going through the backdoor in paying subsidy without actually letting people know transparently how much they are paying on this subsidy.
“But at the end of the day, I think our people are wiser now and they cannot be fooled. They know there are subsidies but these are illegal subsidies.
“A government that says it wants to fight corruption that is now going about its dealings in an illegal way, it just speaks for itself.”
Coker, who stated that Nigerians had become wiser and more politically conscious, said the APC administration would be kicked out in 2019.