‘Are we drinking petrol?’ — Former CBN Governor exposes Nigeria’s subsidy disaster

Man refilling the car with fuel on a filling station

The former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has lamented the corruption in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the effect of the country’s subsidy.

While speaking at the 7th edition of the Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit on Saturday, in Kaduna, Sanusi faulted the NNPC’s statistics on petroleum product consumption. 

“The NNPC says we are consuming 66 million litres per day. So we are consuming more than Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire and others,” Sanusi said.

“In 2019, officially we were importing 40 million litres per day. In 2022 officially, we are importing 66 million per day. In three years, we have increased our petrol consumption by 50 per cent.

“Please tell me, is it the population? Is it the number of cars? Just ask yourself if it makes sense that in three years you increase your petrol consumption by 50 per cent in three years. Are we drinking petrol?”

READ MORE: NNPC Limited: Subsidy, monopoly could hinder oil industry aspirations

Subsidy, NNPC are the problem

The former Apex Bank Governor admitted subsidy and Nigeria’s national oil company as the root of Nigeria’s petroleum problem.

He said: “In the current environment, the first and most obvious problem is the existence of the fuel subsidy and opportunities this creates for fraud. The average daily fuel consumption in Nigeria (by the NNPC’s admission) is 66 million litres per day and on some days as high as 100 million litres per day.

“NNPC is a money pit instead of a cash cow; it should be unbundled and disbanded. More can be had from simply levying royalties and CIT on private players following models like that of Petronas and Petrobras,” he said.

“Beyond the challenging global context, Nigeria has problems entirely of its own making, where oil revenues, which were once the lifeblood of the Federal Government, have been in secular decline for over a decade. This has been happening regardless of the oil price environment.”

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