It emerged yesterday, during the subsidy hearing that the Federal Government paid for 59 million litres of Petrol daily in 2011 even though the country had a consumption capacity of 35 million litres per day during the same period. This gives an excess of 24 million litres per day, adding up to give 8.76 billion litres surplus of what was needed that year.
Chairman of the House of Representatives’ ad-hoc committee investigating subsidy Farouk Lawan said:
“How could the nation be made to pay for 59 million litres daily when we consume only 35 million litres daily? The balance of 24 million litres per day might be the area of sharp practices. By making that provision, you are encouraging smuggling because we know that this 24 million litres balance would simply be smuggled out of the country since it has been paid for already and we cannot consume it.”
In view of this huge excess, the PPPRA boss was asked whether the country had the storage facility to accommodate the 8.76 billion litres of excess fuel. He replied that the nation’s storage capacity could only accommodate 1.4 billion litres.
“This is a case of serious economic sabotage because when the daily supply excess of 24 million litres is multiplied by 365 days, you get 8.76 billion litres. This is the volume of fuel that might have been smuggled out of the country in 2011.
“This is part of the sharp practices through which ordinary Nigerians are being short- changed. This is the system that encourages smuggling and diversion by the importers because it cannot be consumed and you admitted that we don’t have the storage facilities,” Farouk Lawan said.