BY Omoh Gabriel
ABUJA—The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi yesterday described the kerosene subsidy claim by NNPC as a scam saying that claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of spending money on kerosene subsidy are not credible.
Sanusi made the declaration at the resumed Senate Investigative Public Hearing on un-remitted oil revenue in Abuja stressing that the sum of $20 billion was un-remitted to the Federation Account by the NNPC, between January 2012 and July 2013.
He said the burden of proof was now on the NNPC to substantiate that the $20 billion unremitted either did not belong to the Federation or was legally and constitutionally spent.
According to the CBN Governor, the NNPC, by paying kerosene subsidy, confessed to a number of serious infractions. Referring to the data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, he stressed that kerosene was not a subsidisd product, adding that the so-called subsidy was rent generated for the benefit of those in the kerosene business.
Producing evidence that former President Yar’Adua had issued a presidential directive eliminating subsidy payment on kerosene as from July 2009, Sanusi said the huge losses inflicted on the Federation Account have not been appropriated.
Speaking further, the CBN Governor said the burden of proof was on the NNPC to show where it obtained authorisation to purchase kerosene at N150/litre from Federation funds and sell at about N40/litre, knowing full well that the product sells in the market at N170-N220/litre.
Citing records of the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Sanusi said the records suggest that the NNPC imports about four to six vessels of kerosene a month. Similarly, he said based on industry sources, the Federation Account loses $100 million monthly due to racketeering in the industry.