The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has stated that the N457 billion planned for subsidy payment in the 2020 budget will be allocated to other sectors of the economy.
“No deduction for under-recovery because there will be none. Obviously, those costs will vanish from the Appropriation Act and while that is done, it becomes available for other sectors of the economy,” he said.
According to him, the NNPC’s involvement in the operations of state-owned refineries will cease once government completes revamp works in them.
He revealed on a live tv programme in Abuja that the country was subsidising fuel consumption in the remaining West African countries.
“… you have a huge economic distortion where people don’t pay for what they consume.
“That means that you have the cross-border issues, which is because you are selling fuel at a lower price than the market price and we are therefore practically supplying fuel to the whole of West Africa.
“And because of that distortion, some people don’t get salaries. The minimum wage is not implemented in some parts of the country and there are so many distortions.”
Mr Kyari noted that there would still be necessity for a regulator in the downstream sector of the oil industry in spite of the removal of subsidy.
This becomes imperative in order to forestall the possible exploitation of people by racketeers, meaning that the regulator will provide price ranges within which marketers will sell their products.
He affirmed that “what we are putting in place today is a situation where market forces will take control of the market instead of subsidising products mainly for the elites across the country.”
Kyari said no talks would be held again about returning to the subsidy regime, adding that the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency would henceforth control prices and provide band.