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About 1.74bn litres of PMS supplied in August, NNPC still sole importer -Report

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THE Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) report on the products supply in the month of August indicates that about 1.735 billion litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) were distributed nationwide.

The report also indicates that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) imported 100 per cent of the petroleum products, raising concerns about spiralling import figures and opacity of the deals.

Hence the average daily supply of PMS in  August was 55.99 million litres.

An analysis of the volume of PMS supplied nationwide in the month of August suggests a decrease of about 132. 301 million litres compared to the 1.867 billion litres supplied in the month of July.

The report further shows that in the month under review, the total truck-out volume for PMS were 1.79 billion litres, bringing the average truck-out volume of PMS to 57.58 million litres per day.

In addition, the PPPRA report shows that the country had an average PMS Days Sufficiency of 33 days.

General Manager Corporate Services at the PPPRA Kimchi Apollo, in the report, notes that the decline in the volume of PMS supplied in the month of August does not translate to product scarcity.

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on  August 16,  2021, signed the Petroleum Industry Act, providing a fiscal framework that guides the operations of the petroleum downstream sector.

Industry analysts believe the PIA will address some issues around sole importation of PMS and other matters breeding corruption and inefficiencies in the industry.

They argue that government must hasten to clear the administrative aspect of the PIA to enable the Act to come into full effect

“The point is that nothing is happening currently on the implementation of the Act. There is no guiding template yet that would unfold a step-by-step implementation of the PIA. The government should refocus on the steps to enable proper unbundling of the petroleum downstream sector.” Oil Sector Governance Expert Henry Ademola Adigun told The ICIR.

ICIR findings show that since the NNPC took over 100 per cent importation of the petroleum product, the subsidy payment has risen astronomically.

President Muhammadu Buhari -the substantive Minister of Petroleum- had previously expressed concern about the rising figure of subsidised petroleum products in the country, gulping at least N120 billion monthly.

The subsidy figure appreciated to  N175.32billion in July, eroding funds for key developmental projects in health, education, road infrastructure and forcing the government to resort to borrowing.

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Speaking on these concerns, Board Member of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Faith Nwadishi told The ICIR that the unbundling of the petroleum downstream sector would put all these to check to enable Nigerians know actually what was being consumed.

She said that currently, tracking the actual volume of imported petroleum products was difficult since NNPC was still the sole importer plying its trade via the direct-sales and direct-purchase agreements.

“For us to know actually what is being imported, licensing of importers is key.We would get there when there are licensed importers and proper tracking of what is imported,” she further said.

Just last week, former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Sanusi Lamido Sanusi described subsidy as a scam, questioning why Nigerians preferred cheap fuel to good healthcare, good roads and other developmental projects.

Deputy Director at Action Aid and Social Activist Ene Obi told The ICIR that the level of economic and infrastructural damage in the country was a call for concern, wondering whether government policies were actually working for the people.

“Our infrastructural decay is terrible despite all the borrowings. Our policies must work for us and create inter-generational wealth the enables us to grow as a people. The PIA must work for us accordingly and we must push the government to hasten its implementation to curb all these concerns,” she said.

 

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