Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, questioned on Saturday how much Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, is consumed everyday in Nigeria.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited’s assertion that Nigeria consumes 66 million liters of fuel per day was deemed absurd by Sanusi.
Sanusi bemoaned the perceived fictitious amount spent on subsidy payments each year and requested that the NNPC be unbundled and dissolved, arguing that the organization shouldn’t continue to serve as a source of income for a few groups of Nigerians.
He cited what he called the subsidy free-for-all as the cause of the nation’s lack of revenue.
He stated this when he delivered a keynote speech at the seventh edition of KadInvest, an annual event organised by the Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency.
“Are we drinking the petrol?” Sanusi wondered, claiming that the figured is “inflated.”
He said, “NNPC tells us officially that we are consuming 66 million litres per day…We are consuming more than Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, more than Kenya.
“In 2019 officially, we were importing 40 million litres per day. In 2022, officially, we are importing 66 million per day. In three years, we have increased our petrol consumption by 50%. Please tell me, is it the population? Is it the number of cars? Just ask yourself if it makes sense that in three years you increase your consumption of petrol by 50%,” he said.
“Nigeria has continued to be a rentier state. It does not exist for development but as a sight of rent, and extraction to make those who control the state rich to turn them into billionaires overnight.”
According to the former CBN governor, the country can’t keep pushing the brink. It is important that the issue at hand is addressed so that the future generation won’t suffer.
Citing data from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, he said only 50% of states generated enough recurrent revenue to cover their wages, overheads and debt services.
He noted that the cost of servicing debt in Nigeria with the Federal Government for the first half of 2022 was N2.597 trillion whereas revenue was N2.4 trillion.
“In other words, debt service is now 108 percent of revenue. Every naira the Federal Government earns goes to service debt and it is not enough, it has to borrow to service the debt, and then begin to pay salaries, borrow to pay overheads, borrow to build roads,” he lamented.
Speaking further he said, “Let me ask you: what do you think we are leaving our children behind (with)? A mountain of debt. Every generation wants to leave a legacy so that our children and grandchildren will be praying for us and ask God for mercy on us, not cursing us.
“You leave them with a mountain of debt, you have not educated them, money that we should put into their education, into their healthcare, even assuming this fuel subsidy is genuine, we have taking that money to give ourselves cheap petrol. We are borrowing to enjoy cheap petrol so that our children will oay that debt.
“We see the problem and we are going to continue. I’m sorry for the next president who comes in June and says I’m removing fuel subsidy on day one. I don’t know what kind of political stability you’ll have.”
President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the event on Saturday by the Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagum.
Also at the event include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu; governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi), and Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa).
Recall that El-Rufai also on Thursday, during the program canvasses for the privatization of the oil sector, saying that the NNPC has no business being in the sector and should get out.