By Bassey Udo
The average daily depot truck out of premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, between January 1 and July 31, 2022 was about 66.89 million litres and not 98 million litres, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) clarified on Friday.
Truck out volumes refer to trucks or tanker loads of petroleum products lifted daily by marketers from products depots and transported to various retail outlets across the country.
Actual consumption are volumes of products computed by the Midstream and Downstream petroleum industry regulator as average daily consumption by motorists and other fuel users across the country.
Last week, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, triggered a controversy on the daily truck out and actual products consumption volumes when he quoted the NNPC as saying the country was consuming an average of 68 million litres daily of PMS from average truck out volume of 98 million litres.
The Customs Comptroller-General had told the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance reviewing the proposed 2023-2025
Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, that he was sure the NNPC would not provide adequate justification for the volume of petrol it claimed the country was consuming daily, to warrant the budget of over N6.34trillion as subsidy proposed in the 2023 budget.
Ali had quoted the NNPC as putting the daily truck out volume of petroleum products at 98 million litres against the 60 million litres the national oil company claimed was the actual daily petrol consumption figure.
“If we are consuming 60 million litres of PMS per day, by their (NNPC’s) own computation, why would you allow the release of 98 million litres per day? Scientifically, NNPC cannot tell me how it got to 60 million litre per day? That is my problem.
“If you release 98 million litres in actual and 60 million litres is used, the balance should be 38 million litres. How many trucks will carry 38 million litres every day? Which road are they following and where are they carrying this thing to?” the Customs boss said.
Although the NNPC, through its spokesperson, Garba Deen Muhammad, came out in stout defence of the consumption figure attributed to it, and even promised its readiness to surrender its books and records on products supply and subsidy management for public scrutiny and forensic audit, the controversy refused to go away.
Muhammad said records the NNPC obtained from the NMDPRA showed that between January and August 2022, average daily consumption of PMS stood at about 68 million litres, out of about 16.46 billion litres of petrol imported into the country during the period.
He said the figure grew from an average supply of 61 million litres per day out of about 22.35 billion litres of petrol imported into the country in 2021.
Between January and August 2022, the NNPC spokesperson insisted, the NMDPRA reported an average daily evacuation (Depot truck out) of about 67 million litres per day.
The daily products truck out records by the NMDPRA, he said, revealed a range from as low as four million litres to as high as 100 million litres per day.
To give a clarification on the controversy, the downstream petroleum industry regulator in a statement on Friday provided a context on the daily product truck out figures for the period.
“The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory
Authority (The Authority) wishes to provide context to the media reports
on the 2022 average daily truck out of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
“The Federal Government Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which is a three year forward looking budgetary tool, comprises contributions from various agencies. The Authority and its legacy agencies annually provide truck out forecasts for this planning purpose.
“The Authority, during a recent interactive session with the House of
Representatives’ Committee on Finance, quoted 62.9 million litres as the 2022 baseline daily truck out projection.
“For clarity, the figure provided
was used in 2021 solely to forecast the expected revenue for 2022 and
does not in any way translate to the actual truck out volume for this year,” the agency said.
The agency gave the actual daily average verifiable truck out volumes of petroleum products between January 1, 2022 to July 31, 2022 and to be about 66.89 million litres.