The closure of the land borders by the Federal Government has cut down the consumption of Petrol (Premium Motor Spirit) by 8 million litres, from 60 to 52 million litres, says the minister of state for petroleum resources Timipre Sylva.
According to Mr. Sylva, the impact of the land border closure has led to the prevention of the smuggled Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and reduced the nation’s daily consumption of petrol.
“Definitely, we are beginning to see the numbers reducing; from over 60 million litres, it has already come down from the last account to about 52 million litres per day. That means the figures are coming down. We are beginning to restore orderliness”.
However, the Federal Government, according to Mr Sylva plans for this trend to continue, and has stated that its goal is for daily consumption of PMS to hit 40 million.
“We are trying to block other leakages and we believe that we can bring down the figure to about 40 million which will be more manageable by the government.”
Meanwhile, the reduction in daily PMS should reflect in the budget for subsidy payment, as other African countries benefit from subsidy payment through smuggled PMS. The minister said Nigeria is currently subsidizing half of Africa’s PMS and that’s not sustainable
“Nigeria is now almost subsidizing half of Africa which is very difficult for us to do. So, you can see the government doing something about controlling some of these leakages and once those leakages are controlled, we believe that subsidy can be at least bearable, the cost of consumption.”
Looking at the big picture, the country’s foreign reserve may be bolstered and hard-earned foreign exchange saved on the importation of PMS and also resources that may be saved from subsidy payment due to reduced PMS imports.