• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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Nigeria’s N145 per litre PMS encourages smuggling, says NNPC

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Wednesday lamented that the N145 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as fuel, encourages smuggling.

According to the state-owned oil firm, Nigeria has the cheapest price for fuel in the West African sub-region.

This, it said, is also responsible for the country’s low revenue drive, as smugglers would rather smuggle the petroleum product into other West African countries with high fuel prices to make maximum profit.

Making submissions on revenue generation before the leadership of the Senate, the new Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mele Kyari said the low fuel price and smuggling are the two key factors hindering high revenue generation of the agency.

“The N145 per litre fuel price regime Nigeria runs against the N350 per litre most of the other West African countries operate, encourages smuggling, which invariably affected revenue generation for the agency and by extension the country.

“It is even very difficult for us to make the petroleum product available at N145” he said.

Kyari, however, assured that the Corporation was working tirelessly with security agencies in checkmating cross border activities of oil smugglers.

In his submission, the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Rufai Ahmed Ishaku, called on the National Assembly for the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, saying that doing so will significantly transform the oil and gas industry and attract revenues.

Also speaking before the Senate leadership, Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali informed the lawmakers that Custom Service has generated N653.3 billion by the end of June 2019.

“We collected N1.202 trillion in 2018 and as at June this year, we have collected N653.3 billion. We will surpass 2018 revenue by the end of the year,” he assured.

On his part, the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Tunde Fowler, informed the Senate leadership that in the last two months, FIRS has generated about N6.5 billion.

He added that by the end of the third quarter, the agency would have been able to generate about N500 billion from its aggressive revenue drive in meeting the projections made in the 2019 budget.

In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan told the executives of the revenue agencies that the purpose of the collaboration was to gear them up in making more revenues for the government for effective and efficient budget implementation.

He said: “It is very worrisome that the country within the last few years has been resorting to borrowing from external lenders for implementation of capital components of the yearly budget.

“This is not good for the country economically when we have agencies that can assist in generating revenues at home for execution of such projects.

“What is happening today is not healthy and must be critically addressed by all stakeholders involved”.