Paschal Emeka, Abuja
The Minister of Finance and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that Nigeria spends N18.69 billion daily on petroleum subsidies.
Speaking on Thursday when she appeared before the House of Representatives ad hoc Committee investigating oil subsidies, the Minister claimed Nigeria consumes 64 million litres per day and that the figure could have been influenced by smuggling.
Ahmed stated that the executive is also concerned about the increment in daily consumption. She noted that some of the products are being smuggled outside the country, adding that during COVID-19 lock down, daily consumption dropped significantly.
According to her, the President alone cannot take the decision on removing subsidies, insisting that there must be a multi-stakeholder approach, including all political parties, who must sit to make the decision.
The minister disclosed that the landing cost of petroleum is N448 per litre and that the NNPC takes care of the rest through under recovery.
She further said the Federal Executive Council has also expressed worry about the figure presented by the NNPC, saying that as the Minister of Finance, she has no access to the bank statement of the NNPC.
The Chairman of the Committee, Ibrahim Aliyu questioned the figure provided by the Minister. Aliyu said even during the COVID19 lock down, Nigeria was still consuming high volume, which according to him was not logical.
He claimed the daily petroleum consumption was about 32 million litres. But the Minister responded that she is not sure whether daily consumption has doubled and also not sure if the total number of vehicles in the country has doubled in the past 10 years.