President Muhammadu Buhari was very reluctant to approve any increase in fuel price, but had no choice because continued importation of the commodity was fast eroding the nation’s foreign exchange, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.
Speaking in Abuja at the presentation of “Anatomy of Corruption in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Solutions”, a book written by Yusuf Ali (SAN), he said Buhari was left with no choice but to increase the price as there was no foreign currency to import fuel.
“If there is one person in Nigeria that believes that petroleum prices should not go up by one Naira, it is President Buhari…In the absence of foreign exchange and you have to import your refined petroleum, what are you left with?” he asked.
He said even if all the refineries were repaired, they could only refine 40% of petroleum, hence the need to still import.
He noted that most of the problems associated with the nation’s refineries were corruption-related. Osinbajo, who also attended the presentation of Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun’s autobiography, “I Remember”, blamed states’ inability to pay salaries on corruption.
“Since February 2016, many states have been owing months of salaries. When we came into office, we tried to settle many of those debts, but the Federation Account is lower and we’re unable to find the resources to shore up the account,” he said.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who was represented by Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, said the judiciary was at the forefront of the fight against corruption.