The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, said on Tuesday the Federal Government still owes the company N2.8 trillion in fuel subsidy payments.
Kyari disclosed this to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The president had in his inaugural address shortly after taking the oath of office at Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday ended the fuel subsidy regime in the country.
He added that the budget left behind by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration did not make provision for subsidy.
Tinubu stressed that the fuel subsidy regime cannot be sustained by his administration and promised to channel funds for the scheme into better uses for the benefit of Nigerians.
At the briefing, the NNPCL chief corroborated the president’s position and insisted that the subsidy payment is no longer tenable in the face of current realities in the country.
Kyari said: “Today, we are waiting for them (federal government) to settle up to N2.8 trillion of NNPC’s cash flow from the subsidy regime and we can’t continue to build this.
“Since the provision of the N6 trillion in 2022, and N3.7 trillion in 2023, we have not have not received any payment whatsoever from the federation account.
“That means the federal government was unable to pay and we have continued to support this subsidy from the cash flow of the NNPC. That is when we net off our fiscal obligations of taxes and royalties.
“There’s still a balance that we are funding from our cash flow. And that has become very, very difficult and affecting our other operations.
“We are not able to keep some of this cash for investment in our core businesses. And the end result is that it can be a huge challenge for the company and we have highlighted this severally to the government that they must compensate the NNPC by paying the money that we have spent on the subsidy.
“So today, the country does not have the money to pay for the subsidy. There is an incremental value that will come from it. But it is not an issue of whether you can do it or not because today we can’t afford it and they are not able to pay our bills. That comes to how the federation is owing NNPC now.”
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