Nigeria incurred subsidies for petrol and kerosene estimated at $65 billion between 2011 and 2015, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said on Thursday.
The minister said this in a presentation at a 2-day African modular refinery forum, organized by the Modular Refiners Association of Nigeria (MRAN) in partnership with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Represented by the Deputy Director, Engineering and Standards of the DPR, Engr. Olumide Adeleke, Kachikwu said this amount excluded an estimated $6billion the country lost from the vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure.
The minister said that had the subsidy bill been properly channeled, it could have financed the entire investment required to realize the Vision 20:2020 target of 50 percent national refining capacity of crude oil produced in Nigeria, stimulated employment and economic growth and ensure significant reduction in the federation foreign exchange expenditure for petrol imports.
He also lamented that despite the country’s four refineries, Nigeria has been plagued with a continuous import cycle of 92 percent of its daily consumption.
“The foreign exchange requirement for importation of petroleum products is estimated at $28 billion (N3.35 trillion) annually, with 40% of the total amount (N1.34 trillion) dedicated to financing the logistics of importation,” Kachikwu said at the MRAN forum made up of mostly modular refinery manufacturers, partners, clients and contractors.
Despite these challenges the minister said that his objective remains to attain 50 per cent domestic refining capacity by 4th quarter of 2018 and 100 per cent domestic refining capacity by 4th quarter of 2019.