The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it has imported 9.8 million metric tons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) worth $5.8 billion to combat the fuel crisis which has been plaguing Nigeria since December last year.
The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, made this known during a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts at the National Assembly.
Baru, who was represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Finance and Accounts, Mr. Abdulrazaq Isiaka, in a presentation, said the NNPC carried out the massive importation in fulfillment of its statutory role of supplier of last resort to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer as a result of product unavailability.
According to the GMD, the corporation’s provision of 9.8 million metric tons of petrol so far has helped a great deal in ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians.
He said the corporation’s intervention became necessary following the inability of the major and independent marketers to import the product because of the high landing cost which made cost recovery and profitability difficult owing to the regulated price regime.
While assuring the public of adequate product supply, the GMD, however, pointed out that cross-border smuggling due to price disparity between Nigeria and neighbouring countries where a litre of petrol sells above N350 per litre as well as logistic issues in tracking products to different locations across the country remained serious challenges in the quest for fuel queue-free situation in the country.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Uroghide, noted that the public hearing was a part of the Committee’s duty to find lasting solutions to the problem of fuel scarcity in order to make life easy for all Nigerians.