Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday accepted that there is payment of subsidy on imported petrol.
He however explained that it is paid for by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and not the Federal Government.
The clarification came following the claim by the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, that N26 is paid as subsidy on fuel. He had said that the landing cost of petrol is N171 while the product is official sold at a pump price of N145.
But making the clarification on the matter during an interview with newsmen in Apapa Lagos, Osinbajo, who was on an on the spot monitoring of the fuel scarcity alongside the Minister State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, said that since the NNPC buys the fuel, it bears the cost.
He however did not explain how the government does not bear the final brunt of the payment, since the NNPC is a state-owned corporation.
He said, “NNPC is trading in fuel; the Federal Government is not, at the moment, paying for any subsidy. NNPC is trading. If you are buying and selling fuel, you would have to be able to pay for it. So, it’s not a question of government provision for subsidy, the Federal Government, at the moment, isn’t paying any subsidy. And don’t forget that the way that the NNPC trades is that, in many cases, NNPC is actually giving fuel; there is 445, 000 barrels of fuel.
“So really what you are seeing, in many cases, is more or less an exchange for PMS. So at the moment NNPC is paying the cost”.
He stated this soon after visiting Oando and Total fuel depots in Apapa. He had a day earlier, also visited stations in the Lekki-Ajah axis of Lagos.
He further said, “We have been here holding a meeting with major oil marketers and as you see everyone is at work trying to ensure that the petrol queues are cleared. We are trying to look at some of the issues and what needs to be done to ensure that things move very quickly.
“Just yesterday, Mr. President tried to see how exactly he could really work on the problems that we are experiencing and how to very quickly clear up the queues and ensure that everyone is able to have a happy holiday; that’s exactly why we are here today.
“The GMD of the NNPC is up in Abuja and I’m here with the Honourable Minister (of State for Petroleum Resources), trying to take a look at what the problems of the marketers may be and also what other issues there may be getting the products to petrol stations across the country.
“We had a very good meeting and we hope that in the next couple of days we will be able to resolve the petrol queues and l hope this rather sad episode come to an end as quickly as possible.”
It would be recalled that several alleged scams had trailed the payment of subsidy on fuel by government during the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating and prosecuting a number of persons and companies it claims duped the country of billions of naira in the name of fuel subsidy.
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