The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali, has questioned the figures for the daily consumptions of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.
According to Col. Ali, if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation puts daily consumption of PMS at 60 million litres, why does it allow 98 million litres to be lifted daily from the depots?
He stated this when he appeared before the House Committee on Finance for the hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (2023 – 2025).
The Customs boss also dismissed claims that smuggling of PMS contributes to the huge amounts being paid for subsidy.
“The issue is not the smuggling of petroleum,” Col Ali said. “I have always argued this with NNPC. If we are consuming 60 million litres of petrol per day by their own computation, why in the world would you allow the lifting of 98 million litres per day?
“That computation, to me, is not believable, because scientifically you cannot tell me that if I fill my tank today, tomorrow I will fill my tank with the same quantity of fuel. And if I’m running a petrol station today, if I go to Minna depot and lift, and I’m taking to Kaduna, I may reach Kaduna in the evening and offload that product; there’s no way I could have sold that petrol for you to account that that has been expended.
“So how do we get to 60 million everyday? If you say this petrol is smuggled, if you release 98 million litres, and then we use 60 million litres, the balance will be 38 million litres. How many trucks will carry 38 million litres? Everyday. That’s almost 500. Which road are they following? Where are they carrying this thing to?”