Chief Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, has said that the federal government does not know the exact amount of petrol consumed across the country daily.
In an interview with his media team, led by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, Horatius Egua, Sylva was asked to react to the N3tn fuel subsidy proposal by NNPC, amid concerns about the country’s PMS consumption figure.
“I would have preferred that this question be directed to the NNPC.
“I have made my views known about this issue in the past. NNPC has agreed with me that they are not certain about the exact consumption figure,” the Minister responded.
Sylva added that if the country’s petroleum products were smuggled outside the country, nobody could say what volume was involved today, tomorrow, or next week. He also said the NNPC could not say they know these figures.
“It’s more or less fueling a criminal economy. The NNPC imports the products, and nobody knows the exact destination of the products at the end of the day.
“The imported products come to Nigeria, and from there filters out of our borders to neighboring countries.
“So, as a country, we cannot tell the exact volume of petroleum products that we consume on a daily basis. All we have been doing is to assume the level of consumption over a period and work with that,” the minister said.
He further stated that while the NNPC might have a better answer, he doesn’t.
“I have said this publicly before that I don’t know the figure. When I assumed office, initially I was told that our daily consumption was 66 million liters.
“Then, when fuel prices increased from N145 to N162, the consumption figure temporarily fell to about 40 something million liters per day, because the arbitrage opportunity reduced.
“Then the value of the naira dropped again, and the number went up again to over 60 million liters. I am told the figure sometimes rises to as high as 90 or over 100 million liters. I don’t know how that happens.
“At this rate, I have said if anyone is looking at a criminal enterprise, look no further than the fuel subsidy.” the Minister added.