Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Alli, on Thursday faulted the over N6 trillion allegedly being paid as fuel subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in 2022 fiscal year by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited.
The NCS helmsman disclosed this while defending the NCS presentation on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Policy Paper (FSP), held at the instance of House Committee on Finance, chaired by Hon. Abiodun James Faleke.
He alleged that the 98 million litres of PMS daily consumption rate allegedly being brandished could not be substantiated scientifically, adding that over 38 million litres of PMS released daily in excess of actual consumption into the Nigerian market finds its way out of the country.
While responding to question on the N11 trillion proposed fiscal deficit in the 2023 budget proposal as captured in the 2023-2025 MTEF/FSP, Colonel Alli said: “I remember that last year we spoke about this, unfortunately, this year, we are talking about subsidy again.
“The over N11 trillion we are going to take as debt, more than half of it is going for subsidy. The issue is not about smuggling of petroleum products. I have always argued this with NNPC.
“If we are consuming 60 million litres of PMS per day by their own computation, why would you allow the release of 98 million litres per day? If you know this is our consumption, why would you allow that release?
“Scientifically, you cannot tell me that if I fill my tank today, tomorrow, I will fill the same tank with the same quantity of fuel. If I am operating a fuel station today and I go to Minna depot, lift petrol and take it to Kaduna, I may get to Kaduna in the evening and offload that fuel.
“There is no way I would have sold off that petrol immediately to warrant another load.
“So, how did you get to 60 million litres per day? That is my problem. The issue of smuggling, if you release 98 million litres in actual and 60 million litres is used, the balance should be 38 million litres.
“How many trucks will carry 38 million litres every day? Which road are they following and where are they carrying this thing to?”
In his intervention, Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Saidu Abdullahi, argued that the amount being expended on fuel subsidy and which is supposed to be used for provision of social infrastructure are being diverted into private pockets.