Recent media headlines and an interview with NNPC GMD Maikanti Baru by the Punch have revealed that the Nigerian government has secretly operated the same fuel subsidy scandal of the previous years but to a higher degree, consuming as much as an average of N1.5 billion daily to a total of N623 billion in just the past 11 months of 2018. See: http://saharareporters.com/2018/12/26/nnpc-spends-n62316bn-fuel-subsidy-11-months
This secretly reinstituted subsidy which just recently hit public ridicule after the Vice Presidential debate has been covertly rebranded “under-recovery” and was officially included in the 2019 budget with a request for about $1 billion for the purpose.
This subsidy has hitherto been kept secret from the Nigerian public like a daddy will do to his toddler in spite of the NNPC being sued by attorney Femi Falana on the basis of the Freedom of Information act, with the management arguing that it is a private entity, not bound by FOI and refusing to open its books to explain the surprisingly increasing volume of fuel “being imported” and subsidy payment without increased motor usage in the country. See Vanguard of May 18th, 2018: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/04/falana-seeks-explanation-fuel-subsidy-increase-n261bn-n1-4trn/
And see: “NNPC rejects Falana’s request for fuel importation information“, Vanguard June 5th 2018. NNPC’s “Omale said: “Please be informed that our client does not fall within the purview of the Freedom of Information, FoI, Act, 2011.” Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/06/nnpc-rejects-falanas-request-fuel-importation-information/
The National Assembly recently lamented that the Big boy Baru-privately run NNPC had a $3.5bn subsidy fund it was spending without appropriation by the legislature.
What is more disturbing is that the Buhari-Baru run NNPC does not only subsidize its importers which allegedly includes many mushroom companies of its cronies, at the NNPC end but also subsidizes their FOREX rate. Thus the importers are subsidized from both pockets of the Nigerian.
After receiving $2+ billion dollars in subsidies from the NNPC, the Godwin Emefiele-led CBN then also conspires to sell them FOREX at ridiculously subsidized rates which may be as low as N100/USD. Thus these cabal fuel importers are enabled to amass hundreds of billions of naira in profits; money used to sponsor political parties and terror.
To put the numbers in context, the Vanguard reported in its May article referenced above:
“Human rights activist and Lagos Lawyer, Chief Femi Falana, SAN, on May 17th filed a Freedom of Information request to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources demanding details of how the Nigerian government’s payment of N261.4 billion per annum in fuel subsidy skyrocketed to N1.4 trillion.
“In December 2017, according to Mr Falana, the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the nation’s consumption rate of fuel was 28 million litres per day and that subsidy cost was N726 million per day (N261.4 billion per annum).”
These numbers dwarf the Jonathan years.
The numbers have again risen astronomically to the tune of N623 billion/annum. It seems there is no limit to the so-called rise in importation quantity/consumption and consequently rise in subsidy payment by the NNPC and FOREX discount double subsidy profits via the CBN. Greed they say has no limit.
NNPC’s Private Budget That’s Larger Than Nigeria’s
Very few know that the NNPC controls a private budget larger than the entire budget for the nation with very little oversight and its numbers and allocations only under the control of Baru and Buhari. NNPC projects of billions of dollars are simply written out and spread around as junior minister Kachikwu lamented before he was hushed and reconciled with Baru by Buhari.
The agency has always been the direct route for looting of more than half of Nigeria’s earnings from source and a chief source of billions for sponsoring politics; and the loopholes in the agency which Diezani is known for amassing wealth through were never plugged.
News: Buhari Government Admits Secret Fuel FOREX Subsidy
Quoting DailyTrust from January 4th 2018:
“The Federal Government has agreed to grant oil marketers further concession to access Foreign Exchange (FOREX) at a rate below the official N305 per dollar to enable them resume importation of petrol, Daily Trust has learnt. Read full here: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/fg-grants-marketers-special-fx-to-resume-fuel-import.html
Again, as with the secretly reinstituted Fuel subsidy now rebranded “under-recovery,” the values of the secret FOREX subsidy for the same fuel importers is not put in the public domain.
At a rate of N200/USD, the fuel importers will be amassing as much as $4 billion a year. At a secret rate of N100/USD, they will make as much as $9 billion per year. The numbers are simply hair-splitting. Nigeria has never likely experienced a direct siphoning of its resource earnings in subsidies and scams to this degree, all enshrouded in secrecy and controlled closely by the two or three men said to be in charge of the presidency.
I rest my case.
God will deliver us from PDP and its APC offspring. Amen.
Written by Dr. Perry Brimah