BusinessDay

Nigeria lacks accurate data on daily petrol consumption – officials

...as Reps summon ministers, CBN, NNP, others

Nigeria currently lacks accurate data on the daily consumption of petrol, according to stakeholders in the oil sector.

The stakeholders and relevant federal government agencies in the oil sector made their presentations during an investigative hearing by the House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday.

The House through its ad-hoc committee is investigating the actual daily consumption of petrol in Nigeria, volume of product supplied at the point of import and storage capacity of the depots and tank farms to ascertain if the volume claimed to be imported matches the national storage capacity.

Ogbugo Ukoha, executive director at the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), in his presentation, said the most reliable data the authority can give at the moment was the number of truck outs.

Ukoha said the memoranda sent to the committee contains only information about truck outs, adding that NMDPRA has a presence in over 200 depots but currently no refinery is working, so all products are imported.

“They are received at the terminals and discharged into depots where they are then trucked out into tank farms. The most reliable data we can offer is the truck outs. Unfortunately, we were not able to speak to the consumption.

“Consumption requires multi-agency collaboration. Until we work with other agencies it might be very difficult to give the exact figure for consumption. What we provide is data on truck outs from the depots. What we provided is the truck outs. That’s the most reliable data that we can give.

“We can’t come to this chamber and offer guesses. We all watch on television how Customs impound trucks. If I give guesses on consumption, consumption is what is dispensed from the nozzle; how do you plus or minus products that are diverted,” he said.

Similarly, Ogbonnaya Orji, the executive secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) told lawmakers that data regarding the daily fuel consumption in the country was a huge challenge.

“What is the average fuel consumption in the country is a very important question that NEITI too has been asking and I must confess to you that data in this particular area is a huge challenge. Our concern is that establishing how much we consume has a strong link to subsidy payment which we have been investigating.

“Over the years we don’t have data on average daily consumption. In our 2021 report which is ongoing, we are establishing specifically the daily consumption, for now, we don’t have that. What we do have is the annual figure for importation. We do hope to release our report before the end of this year.”

On his part, Chinedu Okoronkwo, the national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), said the association does not have data on the daily consumption of petrol in Nigeria as it is no longer part of the relevant committees.

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Okoronkwo said: “Before the merging of PPRA, DPR, etc into one body, we have our seat in those committees but with this merger, we are unaware of all activities of what is happening in the downstream sector. A situation where we don’t know what is happening is very difficult.

“For now it is very difficult for us as an organisation to tell you this is the number of what we are taking. A situation where my member will come to any depot and inspect their product is very difficult. Before now, we used to have constant surveillance to know what is going on.”

However, in a presentation, the representative of the chief of navy staff, Olusola Olowagbire said over the last seven years the Nigerian Navy discovered that a total of 11, 040 vessels have been imported into Nigeria.

He said: “Regarding the volume of petrol imported into Nigeria, from our records in 2015, there’s a total of 24,894,268.73 metric tonnes imported into Nigeria from all sources. In 2018, we had about 59.5million metric tonnes imported and last year, we had 21,233,722.7 metric tonnes imported. For this, over the last six months, we have had about 11,486,271 metric tonnes imported and still counting.”

Meanwhile, the House has summoned the minister of state for petroleum resources, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (NNPC), and group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) over their absence from the investigative hearing.

Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House who was represented by Peter Akpatason, the deputy majority leader, said this in his opening remarks.

The speaker said the House had mandated the committee not to restrict its findings to the NNPC records alone, but to liaise with experts in the industry, transport workers and all other stakeholders to determine an independent finding for the benefit of Nigerians.

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