The federal government on Thursday admitted paying as much as N120 billion to subsidize the price of petrol monthly.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, said this at the fifth edition of the special ministerial briefings coordinated by the presidential communications team.
He said the cost was covered by the NNPC.
Mr Kyari said while the actual cost of importation and handling charges amounts to N234 per litre, the government is selling at N162 per litre.
He said sooner or later Nigerians would have to pay the actual cost for the commodity.
Even with the clear situation, Mr Kyari did not refer to the cost as a “subsidy”. He merely said the NNPC pays between N100 and 120 billion a month to keep the pump price at the current levels.
He said that market forces must be allowed to determine the pump price of petrol in the country.
“Our current consumption (evacuation) from our depots is about 60million litres per day. We are selling at N162 a litre. The current market price is 234, the actual market price today.
“The difference between the two, multiplied by 60million, times thirty, will give you per month.
“This is a simple calculation you do. If you want exact figures from our book, I do not have it from this moment, but it’s between N100billion and N120billion per month.
“We are putting the difference in the books of NNPC, and we cannot continue to bear,’’ he said.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who also spoke at the event, expressed the hope that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be passed into law in April.
According to him, frantic efforts are being made by the legislators to complete work on the bill and pass it, in line with the aspirations of critical stakeholders in the petroleum sector.
“The National Assembly has expressed the intent to pass the PIB into law by April 2021. Every effort is being made to support the National Assembly to meet this target,” he said.