There is no way daily use of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol in Nigeria could stand at 93 million litres as the lead story of BusinessDay Newspaper of May 5, 2021 claimed.
Whichever way one looks at it, this claim by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stands logic on its head
We suspect that this outlandish claim was put out either as an alibi to ram petrol subsidy removal down the throats of pulverized Nigerians or it is a disingenuous justification for the continuation of alleged humongous subsidy heist in the petroleum sector, which the NNPC claims stands at N7.10 billion daily in the month of April.
The NNPC, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and all vehicle registration agencies in the country are at liberty to publish verifiable data to disprove the following assertions herein made by this newspaper:
One, Nigeria does not have the requisite number of on-the-road vehicles to consume 93 million litres of petrol per day;
Two, we do not also believe the hogwash that this cooked up number is buoyed by either smuggling of petrol to anywhere in West Africa or daily power generation at household level;
Three, Nigeria does not have the capacity to transport 93 million litres of petrol daily, aside from other fuels.
Four, the quantum of daily sales by all petrol stations in Nigeria is not anywhere near 93 million litres.
If the aforementioned official agencies are able to disprove our four claims through an open, forensic presentation of data, which shall be audited independently, this newspaper shall publish a public apologia to them and the nation by way of another editorial.
We therefore, challenge the NNPC, the DPR and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to open up their books to public scrutiny and substantiate these ridiculous claims.
For the time being, we contend that a classic case of what the late Afro Beat maestro, Fela Kuti, called “Authority Stealing” is the likely valid explanation for both the touted 93 million litres per day consumption of petrol only and the purported N7.10 billion daily subsidy on PMS.
The NNPC and all other government agencies who collaborated to put out these ludicrous data should pull another one!