Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent N5.34 billion in under-recovery in June this year, signalling return of fuel subsidy regime.
Under-recovery is the losses incurred by the oil firm due to the difference between the subsidised price at which the corporation sells petrol and the price which it should have received to meet its production cost.
The Federal Government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency officially commenced a petrol pricing regime on March 19, 2020 that saw to the halt in petrol subsidy.
The PPPRA through its pricing regime ensured that petrol prices were fixed on a monthly basis in accordance with the fluctuation of crude oil prices in the market.
But data contained in the latest June 2020 financial and operations report of NNPC showed that the corporation incurred N5.348bn as subsidy on imported petrol in June.
The NNPC is the major importer of petrol into Nigeria, according to oil marketers. In fact, the corporation was the sole importer of the commodity before March 19, 2020.
Further findings showed that in January, February and March 2020, the oil firm incurred N43.31bn, M20.68bn and N37.66bn respectively as under-recoveries.
It, however, posted zero under-recovery in the months of April and May 2020, based on receipts and payments for the months.
But in June 2020, it incurred over N5bn as under-recovery, a development that showed it spent that much on petrol subsidy in that month.
In April this year, the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, hinted at a possible deregulation of the downstream oil sector.
He said the Federal Government had eliminated subsidy and under-recovery in the industry.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Division, NNPC, Kennie Obateru, explained that the return of under-recovery in June was due to the payment for stock held by marketers at the onset of the removal of subsidy by the Federal Government.
“Since the subsidy removal started with reduction in pump price, marketers have been paid the differential of the PPPRA verified stock they held and it is spread over a period of six months,” he said