Prof. Tam David-West, a historical ally of President Muhammadu Buhari has described the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal Government's decision to hike the fuel price from N86 to sudden N145 per/liter as 'stupid' one, report according to TheEagleOnline suggests.
Our source says, Tam West banded with a historical adversary to rail against the new pump price of fuel, which caught consumers by surprise on Thursday, May 12, and scattered family budgets with the ripple effects.
Transport fares have gone up everywhere as a consequence, speeding off with the prices of everything from foodstuff, other household items, plus school fees, to the cost of a hair cut in small shops, and grinding pepper in open markets in Kano and Calabar.
Buhari’s right hand man, Tam David-West, picked holes in the hike in fuel price from N86 to N145 per litre.
The professor of virology and former petroleum minister argued from Ibadan that the increase announced by Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, does not make sense.
His view resonated up North with Buhari’s traditional critic, former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, who accused the president and his All Progressives Congress (APC) members of fleecing Nigerians to amass a war chest for the general election in 2019.
Importing at N86, selling at N145
“It is stupid for two reasons. First, the same NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) a few days ago was filling petrol stations and selling fuel for N86. How can you turn around a few days after to say N145?” David-West asked.
He said the stock now sold at N145 per litre had been imported before the announcement.
“No new petroleum has come in. It takes two weeks for vessels from Europe to arrive Nigeria. There is something wrong with the logic.”
Deregulating, fixing price
The second abnormality with the increase, David-West insisted, is the directive to marketers not to sell above N145.
“How can you say people should import fuel and you tell them how to sell it? It is stupid. You cannot tell a private man to import fuel into the country, and when it arrives the government will now tell him how much to sell it.
“It is stupid. It negates basic economic principles. When I see Buhari, I will make a formal statement. I cannot see how they can justify it.”
David-West said he has noted 12 areas to take Kachikwu on, not only on fuel price, but also how the NNPC is run.
“But if I say it now, they will misunderstand me. They would say I want to be minister. I don’t want to be minister. My record there is clear.
“Okay, look at what [Kachikwu] said – that there is hydrocarbon in every part of Nigeria; which is not possible. He is saying a lot of things that are outrageous.
“When the time comes I will take him on. I don’t want to say it now so that it is not misunderstood. I want to see Buhari first.”
David-West said he believes that Buhari does not know what Kachikwu was cooking before the hike.
“Buhari is not in the country. They rushed it because they knew that if he was around he would not allow them. You increased petrol price to N145, and you said immediately, like a military dictator.”
David-West argued that he was wrongly quoted that fuel was going to sell for N40 per litre once Buhari got into office.
“I said if they removed 14 items they are adding to pump price which should not be there, petrol would sell for N40 per litre.
“There are a lot of things they added to inflate it. That is cheating.
“They are adding NPA (Nigeria Ports Authority) charge, jetty depot price, storage payment, margin for retailers, bank charges, transportation from Europe, bridging, and all sorts of things.
“If they remove all these, petrol price will come down to N40. A Nigerian professor of petroleum in Texas has confirmed my figure.
“Let me tell you about bridging. When I was minister, bridging was paid by the government, not by consumers.
“I met N400 million in the bridging account when I was minister. If you take petrol from Port Harcourt to Sokoto, the government pays for the haulage, not consumers.”