Prior to taken over power, in May 2015, Daily Trust crew were in Daura, at the home of President Buhari where he granted them an interview.
I asked to be the president, so whatever I meet there I cannot complain. I came out and went through the election processes with my party and I know, of course, that there is a lot of work to be done, Buhari said.
If you reflect on the 16 years of the PDP, I think, it was 16 years of disaster, especially economically and security wise. Economically, if you find out how much the country earned and the state of the infrastructure at the beginning and the state of infrastructure now, then it becomes unfortunate that we found ourselves under the rule of the PDP in this country, Buhari added.
On fuel subsidy, Buhari said, one of the problems I have, other than the military, is the petroleum industry where I served for three and a half years under General Obasanjo.
When people start talking about this subsidy I honestly get confused. When I found myself as the Minister of Petroleum I set up another refinery in Warri for 100, 000 barrels per day and the Kaduna refinery a 100, 000 barrels daily. Don’t forget that we didn’t stop at building refineries; we built more than 20 depots during my time, from Port Harcourt to Ilorin, Makurdi, Suleija, Maiduguri and Kano. More than 3,000 pipelines were laid to connect them. A number of stations were also built to take the trailers off the road, save lives and the infrastructure on the road. We did all that in this country and we didn’t borrow any money as far as I know.
You can’t defend these corrupt and incompetent people. There is turn-around-maintenance for refineries, you cannot say the refineries are old and cannot produce, Buhari told Daily Trust during the interview.
Speaking during the Nigerian Political Parties Discussion Series (NPPDS) debate series organized by Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in January 2015 Lai Mohammed said, the APC-led government would unbundle the NNPC.
APC will put in place Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority to effectively manage the wrath in NNPC, Muhammed added.
Does Lai Mohammed remember this day he was making this promise on National Television? Years gone, petroleum sector still poses a huge challenge to APC government, Lai and APC are yet to send any bill to this effect and the wrath in NNPC continues.
On July 2015, Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna State Governor, at the Wole Soyinka Media Lecture at his 81st birthday in Abuja called for the scrapping of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, saying the corporation has over the years constituted itself as a parallel government.
It is either el-Rufai does not mean what he said on that day or his party APC does not believe NNPC is corrupt.
Today NNPC still exist and the challenges of getting the corporation to work effectively under the APC government still persist.
In July 2015, shortly after the swearing of President Buhari, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, announced that the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries have successfully begun production, and are expected to optimally produce about 3.5 million litres of petrol daily. Mr. Ohi Alegbe, the Group General Manager and Group Public Affairs Division said in a statement issued to the press.
Shortly after this statement, the taps and pipes in both refineries seem to have gone dry. Nigerian state continues in the importation of the refined product, independent marketers continue to hold the state to ransom, petrol scarcity becomes more severe, queue resurfaces, petrol pump price goes high and APC took to propaganda and blame game.
Buhari, the president had in May 2015 in an interview in his hometown said, I do not agree in subsidy removal. To him, the subsidy was unable to be sustained because of corruption and incompetent of the PDP administration. He further expressed worry, the only thing Nigerians benefit from their God given gift is petroleum subsidy, why remove it he said.
However, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, makes no pretense in the APC determination to remove subsidy. He disclosed the APC government’s decision to start subsidy removal from 2016 when he appeared before the Joint National Assembly Committee on Finance, Appropriation and National Planning on the consideration of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
The minister said, the subsidy Buhari and APC had assured Nigerians is not sustainable hence should be removed.
Mr. Yemi Osibanjo, the Nigerian Vice President in an interview with the CNBC Africa, said APC government would deal with the challenges of Nigerian refineries and address the challenges in NNPC before removing subsidy.
Nigeria is back to petrol subsidy removal debate, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has since asked Nigeria to remove petrol subsidy.
Although Nigeria did not oppose the idea, she said it will not remove petrol subsidy until all needed infrastructures are put in place to cushion the effect it will have on citizens.