THE Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited ((NNPCL) lied in its claim that Nigerians consume about 60 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, daily.
NCS Comptroller-General Hamid Ali said this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Finance for interaction on Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF/FSP 2023-2025 on Thursday.
Ali, who stressed that such a figure was not feasible, said unless the NNPC was saying that Nigerians fill the tanks of their cars every day, there is no way 60 million litres of fuel could be consumed daily.
He said the most worrisome aspect of the subsidy payment is that NNPCL claims that it lifts an average of 98 million litres of fuel per day while 60 million is consumed on daily basis by Nigerians.
“If NNPC Limited claims that it lifts 98 million litres of fuel every day and only 60 million (which is even questionable) is consumed by Nigerians daily, what then happens to the remaining 38 million litres?
“NNPC Limited claims that Nigerians consume 60 million litres of fuel daily and it lifts 98 million litres daily, what happens to the balance, why did we allow that? To me, that is not feasible, how we got here is what I don’t know.”
He added that payment of fuel subsidy which the NNPCL has spent trillions of naira on was no longer sustainable, stressing that the country has to find a lasting solution to it.
When told that NNPCL also claims that large quantities of the fuel they lift are smuggled out of the country, Ali also said that was impossible.
“From this information, NNPC is claiming that 38 million litres of fuel are smuggled out, it will take about 500 trucks to smuggle that quantity of fuel out Nigeria. Which road do they pass without being caught?”
He told the lawmakers that the Service has generated the sum of N1.167 trillion as of July this year and that it has projected to generate the sum of N2.872 trillion in 2023 fiscal year.
According to Ali, Customs has also projected to generate the sum of N3.54 trillion and N3.752 trillion in 2024 and 2025 respectively adding that all the monies it generated this year have been paid into the Federation Account.