With the increase in fuel supply to tackle lingering scarcity nationwide, the country needs N4.27 trillion to meet its subsidy requirements, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited said on Tuesday.
The Group CEO, NNPC, Mele Kyari, in an interview on The 2023 Verdict, Channels Television’s special election programme, disclosed that the the NNPC transfers products to oil marketing companies at N113 per litre to establish a market price of N170.
“That was one year ago. That’s the basis of all the estimates,” he explained.
According to Kyari, there are some adjustments that have “brought us to the reality of the cost of vessels.” And that adjustment, he said, took the NNPC to a different level in terms of the logistics.
He stated that NNPC has been unwavering on the transfer price from the “landing location” to the marketing companies.
“Yesterday’s data is that this product will land in this country at N295 to the litre. That means you have to sell it at N113 to the marketing companies so that we will be able to maintain the current subsidy regime that we’re running,” Kyari said.
“It means you have N185 per litre of subsidy on every product that comes into this country.
“Now, if you look at the average that we’ve done of 63 million litres January to date, and you convert it to 365 days, that means you need N4.27 trillion for you to meet the subsidy requirements for this country.”
With the NNPC as the country’s only importer of petroleum products, he said the law provides for N3.36 trillion for the January-to-June subsidy regime.
“That means technically, the Ministry of Finance is supposed to be giving us cheques against this subsidy value on a monthly basis,” Kyari stated.
“But it’s not a real situation in the sense that we’re a company owned by the state today. We have fiscal obligations because, ultimately, whatever money NNPC makes is from fiscal obligations – taxes, royalties and margin.
“Because we have not diluted the ownership of this company, all three belong to the state today. So, the only way NNPC can do this is to hold back the fiscal obligation, so that we can use that to buy the product and come and sell it to the market.”
Addressing the bane of smuggling, he said a fuel truck from Lagos delivering to a filling station in Maiduguri can earn a margin of N270,000 as opposed to N40 million or N50 million when sold across the border to neighbouring countries.
Kyari stated that the NNPC keeps track of every truck that has left every depot in the country, adding that fuel supply had increased from 63 million litres per day to over 70 million litres.
“We have truck numbers, destination fuel stations, destination states. And we have published these by list of states – where those trucks go, the number of trucks that have left those [depots], etc.
“When they leave the depots, where do they end up? That is what would have translated to national consumption,” he said.
The NNPC boss said it is practically impossible under an arbitrage environment and under a situation where neighbouring countries are helpless to say that there will be no cross-border movement of petroleum products.
“That’s why we’re making it legitimate in the sense that NNPC is now buying fuel stations across our borders, so that we can deliver to them legitimately. It is very simply impossible to stop this until we are able to solve this arbitrage issue.
“So, definitely, what you’re dealing with is a logistic challenge, rather than anything else,” he said.