The Government of Nigeria through the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation between July 2018 and April 2019 sunk N546.07bn into keeping the price of a litre of petrol at N145.
This is N241.07bn less than the N305bn President Muhammadu Buhari presented to the National Assembly for fuel subsidy in November 2017 and signed in June 2018.
The government has somehow out-jumped its budgetary provision for what the NNPC still records as under-recovery while being unable to achieve close to 90 per cent of its infrastructural intentions.
Based on data gathered by SaharaReporters from the corporation’s monthly finance and operation reports, the figure covered July to April 2019 – the last month the company records its under-recovery data for.
The Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency had in May 2016 designed a template of N145 for a litre of petrol based on a subsisting landing cost of N133.
The landing cost of a litre of the foreign-refined product was, however, sourced from a barrel of oil, which was selling in the $20 bracket at the time.
When the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led alliance started to push for higher prices, the Nigerian Government did not permit the PPPRA to draw up a new template.
Rather than approach the National Assembly to approve the recommencement of the fuel subsidy regime, the government permitted NNPC to make itself the sole importer of the product.
The corporation did this and arbitrarily listed the monies used to maintain the N145 reality as an under-recovery.
Following calls by the Nigerian Governors Forum and the National Assembly for the NNPC’s unbudgeted deductions to be probed, the Presidency decided to budget N305bn as fuel subsidy – a sum it had exhausted at the end of January, the seventh month of the budget cycle.
In July, August and September 2018, the corporation said it under recovered N51.20bn, N65.90bn and N45.80bn.
In October, November and December, the corporation informed the public through its finance and operation reports that it made losses of N40.50bn, N2.88bn and N13.34bn.
Between January and April however, the NNPC said it forfeited profits worth N104.35bn, N102.34, N30.64bn and N89.19bn.
With the exception of Dangote, whose refinery is most likely to become reality, much of the licenses given for the execution of modular refineries have remained dreams.