President Muhammadu Buhari led the opposition Progressive Congress (APC) vehemently opposed to fuel subsidies elimination before winning the 2015 presidential election.
President Buhari at the time claimed that there were no petrol subsidies and that the government at the time, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, was corrupt and was looking to defraud the Nigerian people to profit from it.
Eight years later and just days away from the end of his two terms in government, President Buhari will leave the country with the highest petrol subsidy spending in Nigeria’s history.
According to oil and gas industry reports conducted by the Nigerian Mining Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the cost of petroleum subsidies from 2015 to 2020 is N1.99 trillion.
Reports from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federal Account Allocation Commission (FAAC) also show that the petrol subsidy costs N1.57 trillion in 2021 and 1 alone, an Additional 27 trillion naira from January to May 2022. The government has a budget of 3 trillion nairas to cover the cost of petrol subsidies from June 2022 to June 2023.
Summarizing all costs shows that under President Buhari, the government will spend N 7.83 trillion on petrol subsidies.
Refineries are still operating despite promises
In 2015, when Nigeria’s four refineries in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Kaduna were operating below full capacity, they were producing around six million liters of gasoline per day for domestic consumption. Refineries will return to full capacity by the end of this year. It never happened.
In 2017, the refineries were partially shut down for maintenance, but two years later, in 2019, with no progress, the refineries were forced to shut down completely. The president will leave in about three weeks with refineries still in recovery and managed. In 2021, backed by loans from the African Development Bank, NNPC announced that it would undertake a complete overhaul of the Port Harcourt refinery at a cost of $1.5 billion. Warri and Kaduna refineries follow the same process.
Speaking to Saturday Vanguard, oil and gas governance expert Henry Adigun said that with the failure to solve the oil subsidy problem for eight years, President Buhari is allowing the situation to get worse than he expected. ants.
Adigun said the politics and emotions surrounding the issue had pushed the country into a heavy debt burden, adding that President Buhari did not understand the scale of the problem and how to deal with it.