The government says it has been making for “extra cost” for months, but denies paying petrol “subsidy” which it stopped in 2016.
The Buhari administration announced the removal of petrol subsidy in 2016, and imposed a pump price increase to N145 a litre as the then new government tried to distance itself from the misdeeds of past governments.
The government said it would channel its resources instead into getting the refineries up, and save the trillions of naira past governments squandered on fuel subsidy payments.
But it seems the Buhari government, soon after persuading Nigerians to accept the petrol pump cost raise as the price for scraping subsidy, quietly went behind and continued with the same subsidy policy of its predecessors.
The NNPC has not given details how the cost is covered. But such cost would amount to billions of naira, and would imply the government redirected resources that would have gone into developmental projects into paying subsidy — the same policy it criticised other governments for.
It is not clear where the monies were sourced from, since budgets for 2016 and 2017 had no mention of subsidy appropriations.