The Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Nigeria, Adams Oshiomhole, has commended the actions taken by President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its effects on Nigerians.
Oshiomhole who spoke to the media on Friday after meeting with the President in company with newly nominated Deputy Chairman, South West of the APC, Senator Abiola Ajumobi, said the decisions of the President on COVID 19 should be commended.
“For instance, the decision of the president to reduce the price of PMS and other products because of the sharp drop in the price of crude is highly commendable.
“In order words, passing on not just the burden of the oil price when they go up, but also the benefits when the price goes down. So, it is not all lose, lose.”
Oshiomhole said that similar drop in oil price in the past did not attract reduction in the pump price of petrol.
“I do remember as a member of the Economic Crisis Management Committee under the late President Umar Yar’Adua, Governor Fashola and I were members of that committee and we persuaded the then president, when oil price dropped to this level of 30 dollars or below that the benefit of the drop should be passed on to the Nigerian people.
“But the then Minister of Petroleum Resources was not able to come out with any figure.
“That was how although the price of crude dropped, it was not passed on to the Nigerian people.
“So, I commend the president for passing on the benefit of the drop in oil price so that Nigerians are not only exposed to the negative side of the drop but they also benefit from the positive side, which is that the cost of PMS has dropped.”
According to the APC chairman, there would also be some reduction in the cost of living, particularly in the cost of transportation because it is expected that it would be passed down to the people.
He also commended “the prompt proactive step taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by making funds available to support businesses that are affected by the corona virus.
“Everywhere around the world, governments are rising to the occasion and we are happy that Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari, has also taken bold step to not only protect Nigeria by stopping foreign airlines from flying into the country, particularly from countries that the virus is already a pandemic. It is our hope that these measures, along with other measures, will help to curtail it.
“Again, we think that this are challenging times and our president is showing leadership, just as we expected of him, putting Nigeria first, supporting businesses and passing on not just the burden of the drop in oil price but benefit of the drop.
“And for me, having been active in this politics of drop in oil price, this is the first time a Nigerian president without strike, without editorials, without protests, without commentators saying it, by his own conviction says this drop in the price of crude must be reflected in the price of PMS. And for us as party leaders, we think he deserves commendation.”
Presentation of newly appointed deputy chairman
Oshiomhole said he was at the State House to formally present Ajimobi to the president.
Ajimobi replaced the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, as Deputy Chairman of the APC in the South West.
“As you know, Niyi Adebayo was the Deputy National Chairman, South. So, Governor Ajimobi has come to fill the void, arising from his new appointment.
“Of course, the president already knows him. He hosted us a couple of times when he was governor of Oyo State and played a pioneering role in the formation of the APC.
“So, obviously, he is not a stranger to the president, but just by way of formality I had to present him.
“The president is very excited and delighted that someone with his background—a complete gentleman— a former senator and a two-term governor will help bring on board a wealth of experience that will help to reinforce the quality of leadership of the APC.”
On the opposition of the APC in Ekiti State to Ajimobi’s position, Oshiomhole said Ajimobi was chosen by the majority of the states in the South West and dismissed the position of Ekiti State.