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Economy: Fuel marketers dispute 60m-litre daily consumption, urge Tinubu to probe N13trn subsidy claim

*The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria urges President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to probe management of the subsidy fund to ascertain how much can be ‘truly saved’ for infrastructure and education, as the ‘former subsidy is full of corruption’

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As consumers complain under the yoke of the newly-adjusted fuel price hikes with the ‘sudden’ attendant socio-economic dislocations over the rising cost of living in the economy, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has tasked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration to investigate the management of the subsidy fund hitherto allocated to oil dealers to ascertain how much can be “truly saved” for infrastructure and education from the subsidy scheme.

The fuel marketers Tuesday, May 30, 2023, challenged the new administration find out the true figure before looking forward to the expected N13 trillion savings annually, from phasing out the controversial subsidy.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR

ConsumerConnect reports that IPMAN disagreed with the earlier pronouncement of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) over reported consumption of over 60 million litres petrol daily in Nigeria.

Debo Ahmed, National Vice President of the Association, in a chat with The Nation appealed to President Tinubu, to as a matter of urgency, probe the management of the subsidy funds so as to put his administration in a pole position to know exactly how much can be truly saved for infrastructure and education from the subsidy scheme instead of banking on somewhat elusive N13 trillion savings annually after ending subsidy.

N13 trillion subsidy not real figure, says IPMAN Chief

Ahmed also urged President Tinubu should know that N13 trillion is not the real figure of subsidy fund being bandied about in the public space.

According to the IPMAN National President, removing it (subsidy) immediately without actually knowing the availability of product and what the daily consumption is, will amount to merely banking on the N13 trillion being bandied, and this could pose a challenge for his administration.

He further noted: “This is because people will be expecting that he has N13 trillion to come to the government purse for infrastructure.

“He has to study it a little to know the rigmarole of everything because the former subsidy is full of corruption.

“This is because we are not consuming the 60million litres per day. So he can remove it after getting his acts right.”

Ahmed further stressed that Tinubu might be disappointed, if he cannot save N13 trillion from subsidy removal at the end of the day.

Disputation over quantity of fuel Nigerians consume daily

ConsumerConnect had reported that Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.), Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), in 2022, openly objected to the NNPCL claim of 67 million litres daily consumption in the country.

Ali had insisted, that it was impossible to load, convey and consume the reported volume on a daily basis.

The NCS Comptroller-General’s  objection at the time came on the heels of Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer’s (GCEO) of NNPCL, blaming petrol scarcity amid daily supply of over 60million litres on smugglers.

The NNPCL, however, in its document released April 3, 2023, and titled “PMS Weekly Evacuation & Dispatch”, disclosed that between March 25 and March 31 the total volume of petrol evacuated from the various 33 depots in Nigeria was 515.99 million litres.

The document, which NNPCL attributed to the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority  (NMDPRA), thus indicated the average daily evacuation for the week was 73.7 1million litres.

The national oil company as well said that average daily consumption of the product was 65.62 million litres.

The latest information on the site was the one of June 5, 2022, according to report.

On the currency of the information on “the Authority” Web site, Mr. Apollo Kimchi, Corporate Affairs General  Manager at NMDPRA, explained why the official Web site had not been updated since June 2022.

Kimchi was quoted to have said: “I have not been around. I will confirm the information tomorrow (Wednesday, May 31).”

The NMDPRA stopped publishing relevant information on product importation on its Web site since early this year when it said it has been upgrading it, report noted.

Oil marketers commend government’s decision on subsidy removal

Meanwhile, IPMAN leader, however, has commended the decision of the current administration to phase out subsidy.

He recalled that his Association had been advocating the removal of subsidy over time.

The President of IPMAN said: “We have been having some feelings that there is going to be removal of subsidy.

“So, it is not a new thing. It did not come as a surprise because we have been expecting that.”

Ahmed stated: “We are yet to see the difference. It is only when we see the difference we will know what to say.

“But as far as we are concerned it doesn’t matter to us. But it is commendable.”

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