Says no subsidy in 2016 budget
The Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, has said that over 30 percent of the fuel supplied in Nigeria is being diverted to neighbouring countries.
He made the allegation while speaking at the Federal Government Town Hall meeting held in Lagos on Monday. Speaking on the nagging issue of fuel scarcity, Kachikwu said the government does not have the power to monitor all trucks that load fuel at depots, adding that the Federal Government relies on Nigerians to report any truck suspected of fuel diversion. “None of the fuel trucks in Nigeria has trackers.
We are now working on selecting only trucks with installed trackers. Over 30% of the fuel we supply in Nigeria is diverted outside Nigeria. Nigerians need to report these crimes,” he said. On petroleum subsidy, Kachikwu said the only way to eliminate it, is to repair the refineries, assuring the Federal Government is already doing so. He also cleared the air on news making the rounds that the FG had returned to payment of fuel subsidy to marketers. According to him, the FG did not include subsidy in the 2016 budget. “One way to remove the need for subsidy is to focus on ensuring that refineries are functioning, and we are already doing that.
We don’t have subsidy payments in the 2016 budget. My job is to ensure we don’t have to pay subsidies again,” he said. Kachikwu then pleaded with Nigerians to exercise patience with the FG as it is working hard to solve the fuel scarcity problem. “We did not cause these fuel scarcity supply problems. Instead, we are working to solve them for good. I have the capacity to throw energy at the things that concern me. Please, give us your patience,” he said.
The Buhari administration has hardly had rest from problem of fuel scarcity since it came into power in May 2015. And while Nigerians are still nagging about the situation, both the NNPC and fuel marketers have kept trading blames. However, in order to solve the scarcity caused by marketers’ inability to import fuel due to unavailability of forex, NNPC took over the responsibility of importing over 85 percent of fuel.