Nigeria paid close to N 670 billion for smuggled fuel – Investigation
The ad-hoc Committee investigating the Petroleum Subsidies saga continues to unravel one bombshell after the other. The lastest discovery is that Nigeria over-imported petrol on a daily basis to the tune of 24 million litres in 2011, despite the fact that the country has no sufficient storage capacity to accommodate the surplus.
When she appeared before the House Committee on Tuesday, the Petroleum Minister provided the statistic indicating Nigeria’s daily consumption of fuel is 35 million liters. Yet, yesterday the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Reginald Stanley, disclosed that the volume o fuel actually imported was 59 million liters per day.
The difference between fuel consumed and fuel imported is 24 million liters. Nigeria pays subsidy on this 24 million liters that is not even utilized by Nigerians.
In reaction to the revelation, Chairman of the House Committee, Farouk Lawan said, ““How could the nation be made to pay for 59 million liters daily when we consume only 35 million liters daily? The balance of 24 million liters per day might be the area of sharp practices. By making that provision, you are encouraging smuggling because we know that this 24 million liters balance would simply be smuggled out of the country since it has been paid for already and we cannot consume it.”
He further added, “This is a case of serious economic sabotage because when the daily supply excess of 24 million liters is multiplied by 365 days, you get 8.76 billion liters. This is the volume of fuel that might have been smuggled out of the country in 2011.”
This means Nigeria paid approximately N 670 billion on petrol it did not consume.