In 2016, Ibe Kachukwu said we were importing 30 million litres of petrol. In 2019, NNPC said we were importing 59 million – Sanusi

The Emir
Sanusi

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammad Sanusi, has suspected a high-level racket in the reported volume of the PMS Nigeria imports and the amount of susidy it pays.

Sanusi, who is also a former Emir of Kano, said figures were usually inflated when oil prices went up.

Speaking virtually during the National Economic Summit that just ended in Abuja, the former CBN boss also said it was illegal to be removing subsidy money from the federation account.

He said, “I have said this before even as a CBN Governor under the previous government. What I say is not of a particular government. Take petroleum subsidy.

“In 2015 or 2016, Minister Ibe Kachukwu said Nigerian was importing 30 million litres of PMS per day after eliminating corruption. In 2019, the NNPC said we were importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices had gone up. And I have been asking the question: what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our oil consumption has almost doubled?

“This is what also happened under the previous government. When oil prices go up, the NNPC said they were importing more because of the arbitrage. Thus, when the oil prices go high, there is an incentive to inflate the number.”

On the issue of paying from the federation account, he explained that it harboured constitutional and economic issues.

“This money coming from petrol belongs to the federation account, and the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.

“So it is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, states and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as federal government expenditure. So, there are so many complex issues, legal and economic issues. We need to stop these issues,” Sanusi added.