The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC has revealed that it spends ₦774 million daily (about ₦23.99 billion monthly) as subsidy on the 50 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit PMS popularly called Petrol consumed across the country.

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, revealed this while on a visit to the Headquarters of Nigerian Customs in Abuja. The NNPC boss raised an alarm on the increase in the number of fuel stations in communities with international land and coastal borders across the country. This he said has energized unprecedented cross-border smuggling of petrol to neighbouring countries, making it difficult to sanitize the fuel supply and distribution matrix in Nigeria.

Baru also stated that the activities of the smugglers had led to a recent observed abnormal surge in the evacuation of petrol from less than 35 million litres per day to more than 60 million litres per day which are in sharp contrast with established national consumption pattern.

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He said 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

He noted that because of the obvious differential in petrol price between Nigeria and other neighboring countries, it had become lucrative for the smugglers to use the frontier stations as a veritable conduit for the smuggling of products across the border, saying this had resulted in a thriving market for Nigerian petrol in all the neighbouring countries of Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Cameroon, Chad and Togo and even Ghana which has no direct borders with Nigeria.

In his words:

“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

Recall that the Senate Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Senator Mathew Urhoghide has disclosed that his Committee will probe the NNPC’s payment of fuel subsidy despite non-provisions in 2016 and 2017 Appropriation Act but the NNPC in its defence described the amount as under-recovery. A total of N5.1 trillion was paid as subsidy between 2006 and 2016.

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