By Odunewu Segun
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has called on the Senate Downstream Committee to assist in ensuring that the outstanding debt of N170.6bn owed by the federal government is settled to enable the corporation effectively achieve its obligation as the supplier of last resort to the downstream sector.
The Managing Director Maikanti Baru made the appeal on Monday while addressing the senate downstream committee investigating the N5 trillion subsidy payments from 2006 to 2016.
He said the corporation arrived at the figure after it deducted the N4.950.80 trillion it had so far received as subsidy payments from the N5.121.40 trillion approved claims for NNPC from January 2006 to December 2015.
NNPC’s chief financial officer, Isiaka AbdulRazaq, traced the advent of the subsidy regime to October 2003 when NNPC was directed by government to commence the purchase of domestic crude oil at international market price without a corresponding liberalisation of the regulated price of petroleum products.
AbdulRazaq explained that under the subsidy regime, NNPC and other suppliers of refined petroleum products were entitled to file subsidy claims to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
He, however, noted that unlike other oil marketers, NNPC did not receive cash payment for subsidy claims as they were deducted out of cost payment to the federation account after due certification by PPPRA.
Cash-strapped state governors under the umbrella body of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) last week accused the NNPC of shortchanging the federation account for five years between 2010 and 2015 by remitting lower amount of money compared to what the corporation paid for the cash call joint venture.
Crude oil exports receipts paid into the federation account by NNPC was $56.56 million in November 2017 compared to $121.75 million in October, according to NNPC data.
The development has been traced to the increased cost of importation of refined products.
NNPC currently is the sole importer of petrol as other marketers had backed out citing rising cost of importation without a corresponding increase in the domestic pump price of the fuel.