Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The federal government paid N752 billion as petrol subsidy in 2019, a report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed.
According to a recent report on NNPC’s operations and financial activities for the period of January 2020, the country doled out a whopping sum of N594,525,670,942 to the corporation as subsidy payments captured as under recovery in its books between January 2019 and January 2020.
The report indicated that Nigeria currently imports most of the refined petrol used in her domestic economy; explainin that 21,832,380,171.73 litres of petrol were imported into the country through its Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) swap programme between January 2019 and January 2020.
In the same vein, the country’s three refineries which have largely remained dilapidated incurred a total of N158.6 billion as losses within the same period. Both subsidy claims and refineries deficits amounted to circa N752 billion.
However, the report showed that apart from the expenses, the country also lost about N28,396,312,295 to stolen or lost products within the period; N132,143,966,247 spent on pipeline repairs and management costs, as well as N3,460,993,736 calculated as the financial value of the volumes of crude oil that were lost.
Specifically, the NNPC noted that in January 2019, the country spent N40,532,561,017 on petrol subsidy; N2,875,580,922 in February; N13,335,581,366 in March; N104,347,173,012 in April; and N102,338,409,727 in May.
It further spent N30,637,245,949 in June on petrol subsidy; N93,691,861,719 in July; N42,926,632,833 in August; N31,405,120,306 in September; N29,312,835,072 in October; N33,187,554,072 in November; N26,628,940,202 in December and then incurred N43,306,174,744 in January 2020. The figures according to the corporation are reported in arrears.
Similarly, it stated that the consolidated performance of the refineries showed that they lost N8,362.02 billion; N10,259.27 billion; N16,036.17 billion; N11,439.86 billion; N13,629.28 billion; and N17,420.47 billion in the first six months of the year which were January, February, March, April, May, and June respectively.
The refineries further failed to earn N13,836.04 billion in July; N13,209.08 billion in August; N7,074.31 billion in September; N11,716.56 billion in October; N12,517.09 billion in November; N13,457.59 billion in December of 2019 and then N9,601.49 billion in January of 2020, with all the figures recorded in arrears.
The refineries, the NNPC report stated were largely inoperative in 2019 with their capacity utilisation remaining at zero most of the time except for January, February, March, May and June when they operated at various low percentage levels of 5.55 per cent; 13.18 per cent; 3.17 per cent; 1.75 per cent and 2.14 per cent.