The Federal Government has said the closure of the land borders by the Nigeria Customs Service has cut down the consumption of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, from 60 to 52 million litres per day. This represents a difference of eight million litres per day.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said this in Abuja on Thursday when he appeared before the joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Petroleum to defend the budget proposed by the ministry for 2020.
The government, while admitting that the figures being presented did not reflect the actual volume of petrol consumed in Nigeria, also said there were no plans to remove the subsidy being paid on petrol.
Addressing journalists after the session, Sylva, while responding to a question on the impact of the border closure on the daily petrol consumption rate, said prevention of smuggling had led to reduction of the consumption figure.
He said, “Definitely, we are beginning to see the numbers reducing; from over 60 million litres, it has already come down – from the last account – to about 52 million litres per day. That means the figures are coming down. We are beginning to restore orderliness.
“We are trying to block other leakages and we believe that we can bring down the figure to about 40 million which will be more manageable by the government.”