The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has announced that the cost of a litre of petrol has hit N256 and it is absorbing between N140-N150 billion in monthly subsidy to sell to consumers at N162.
But the octopus corporation blamed fuel smugglers for worsening the situation, as daily consumption jumped to to 103 million litres per day in May, as against the usual 50-60 million litres.
The Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Mele Kyari, made this known on Tuesday at stakeholders meeting organised by the corporation to discuss how best to stop smuggling in the country.
Kyari said the current situation had kept the country in a state of bleeding, as it could not sustain the payment of subsidy that accompanies the volume.
He said that the introduction of Operation White and involvement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had helped the situation.
“From the truck out report from the PPPRA data base , we have seen collapse of load out average move from 70 million litres to 60 million litres just in one month, that means we can do with less than 70 million. The balance, I don’t know where it goes to but we know for sure that it is not consumed in this country .
“In very recent data, we see what we really want in the beginning of May and June, there was a day we load out about 103 million litres of PMS within one day across the depots.
“We know it is not required, we know it is inappropriate and we also know that something wrong is happening that somebody is chasing something.
“But we in NNPC, we are not in control of that, we are not in every depot, we don’t keep products in all the depot but when the volume goes down, it comes down to us, when there is tight in supply, it comes back to the NNPC and we solve the problem,’’ he said
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that smuggling must stop adding that it was the reason for inviting all stakeholders to chart the way forward.
He said that the corporation had incorporated the EFCC, the Department of Security Services (DSS), the Nigeria Customs services (NCS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on a platform to achieve this.
“Mr President has directed us that we must stop smuggling or round tripping if there is anything like that, and so we must stop it by every means necessary, and we must do anything to stop it, that means we have to work outside the box.
“We know that there are layers of controls that have been there that is not working and that is why we must work outside the box.
“That is why we are happy to drag in the EFCC, DSS, NSCDC, and even the NCS on a different platforms that will enable us to control this volume and we have seen it work,’’ he added
Commenting on the current PMS and subsidy payment, Kyari explained that with the current exchange rate, the pump price of petrol should be N256 per litre.
“If we are to sell at the market today at current exchange rate, we will be selling the product at about N256 to a litre. What we sell today is N162, so the difference is at a cost to the nation,’’ he said.