Hence, NNPC should concentrate on how to produce the product locally and hands off importation, while the major marketers, independent marketers, depot owners and other private operators are allowed to bring in the product in large quantity. This must be at a round table with government. Also, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) by the Act that established it should be in charge of deregulation, because it is empowered to monitor supply and sales of products in the country.”
On if government has the statistics to prove that subsidy exists, he said, “It is a surprise that an ex-minister of petroleum said that subsidy is not real. Let us look at statistics for instance, if crude oil is $100 per barrel and one barrel contains 159 litres. The exchange rate is 155 naira per dollar. To convert the $100 to naira and divide it by 159 to get the litres would be $100 multiplied by 155, which would give us N97.48k per litre of crude. This shows that there is subsidy already even without processing it. So, when you add the refining, storage and pipeline charges, you can see that government is spending so much on subsidy.
“If you are refining the product abroad and bringing it into the country, you are going to add fees on freight and insurance to these other charges. So, how can someone say there is no subsidy? Already, the crude oil alone is N97.48k per litre and you are selling the refined product with numerous charges added to it for only N65 per litre. By the time you add these charges together you would realise that government is subsiding fuel heavily. We must be realistic about the existence of subsidy and stop playing on sentiments. I do not think it is nice to deceive Nigerians.”
Speaking on how much a litre of fuel should be sold without subsidy, he explained, “If you go to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), you would see that fuel price ought to be sold for N141.03k and above without subsidy. “
The MOMAN scribe also spoke on the specific amount of subsidy the masses are benefiting on petrol. His words:“Frankly speaking, the masses are not those enjoying fuel subsidy in the country. The money still goes into the hands of few rich individuals. For instance, let us consider statistics again: If a private care owner goes to fill his tank with 50litres of fuel, he would enjoy subsidy of over N2,000 at a time. But, if a commercial bus carrying 14 passengers fills his tank with the same 50litres, he gets subsidy of less than N300 with 14 passengers. So, the huge amount goes to the private car owner.”
On why the refineries are not working optimally, he said, “NNPC owns the refineries and should be in a better position to explain that. For instance, currently the refinery in Port Harcourt and Warri are undergoing Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) and should be ready in 24 months for operations. “
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