From Lateef Taiwo
The World Bank has said the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited is not transparent about the financial gains from fuel subsidy removal.
This extends to subsidy arrears that are still being deducted and the impact of subsidy removal on federation revenues, the bank noted. The Washington-based made this call in its Nigeria Development Update, December 2023 edition titled, ‘Turning The Corner (from reforms and renewed hope, to results).
This is as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of Economy, Wale Edun, revealed that the government was ready to scrutinise the revenue flow from the NNPCL.
According to the World Bank, while revenue gains from the exchange rate reforms are visible, more clarity is needed on oil revenues, including the fiscal benefits from the PMS subsidy reforms.
It declared, “nominal oil revenue gains have been evident since June; these are mostly categorised as “exchange rate gains”, suggesting that they are due to the naira depreciation.
“Except for the exchange rate-related increases, however, there is a lack of transparency regarding oil revenues, especially the financial gain of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation from the subsidy removal, the subsidy arrears that are still being deducted, and the impact of this on Federation revenues. It is also unclear why retail petrol prices have not changed much since August, despite fluctuations in the exchange rate and global oil prices.”
The Bretton Woods institution further expanded that gains in net oil revenue of the federation were lower than what they should have been considering what the removal of fuel subsidy should have added to the accounts.
It stated that fuel subsidy cost the federation about N380bn a month, and once removed, the federation account should have recorded an increase in net oil revenues.