The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it spends N774 million every day to subsidize petrol and keep the fix retail price of
N145 per litre.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru revealed this when he led a top management team of the corporation on a visit to the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (Retd).
The daily evacuation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, varied in recent past months ranging from 35million litres per day to 60million litres per day and even to as high as 80million litres per day as at December last year.
But NNPC in a statement signed by its spokesman Ndu Ughamadu said supply was now settling at an average of 50million litres per day.
Baru, according to the statement, noted that based on the heightened petrol consumption rate of 50 million litre per day, the corporation was incurring an under-recovery of
N774 million every day.
The GMD explained that because of the obvious differential in petrol price between Nigeria and other neighboring countries, it had become lucrative for smugglers to use frontier stations as a veritable conduit for the smuggling of products across the border.
He said this had resulted in a thriving market for Nigerian petrol in all the neighouring countries of Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Cameroun, Chad and Togo and even Ghana which has no direct borders with Nigeria.
“’NNPC is concerned that continued cross-border smuggling of petrol will deny Nigerians the benefit of the Federal Government’s benevolence of keeping a fix retail price of
N145 per litre despite the increase in PMS open market price above N171 per litre,’’ he said.
Welcoming the NNPC GMD and his team to the Customs Headquarters, Col. Ali said the Service would work with the corporation to stem the tide of cross-border smuggling of petroleum products, noting that all hands must be on deck to ensure the economic survival of the country.
Meanwhile, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has called on the Federal Government to reimburse the NNPC for expenses the corporation incurred from payment of subsidy to the marketers.
Arising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Warri, Delta State on Friday, PENGASSAN said that NNPC has continued to shoulder the responsibility of providing products to close gaps created by the withdrawal of other marketers owing to non-payment of subsidy claims from 2015 to 2017.
In a communique signed by the PENGASSAN President, Comrade Francis Olabode Johnson and the General Secretary, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa, the union stated that the extra burden absorbed by NNPC is depleting the corporation’s finances and consequently hampering effective discharge of its statutory obligations.
The senior staff trade union therefore called on the government to reimburse the huge payments incurred within the period under review.
It expressed worries over the delayed payment of subsidy and debts owed oil marketers and therefore called on the Federal Government to come to the table and resolve the differences as this will help in averting loss of jobs in the oil and gas industry.