Why NNPC Should Be Unbundled, Disbanded- Sanusi

The 14th Emir of Kano and former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Khalifa Muhammad Sanusi II, has called for unbundling and disbandment of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to get the nation out of economic crisis.

He spoke barely 48 hours after Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai made similar call.

Sanusi while delivering his paper: ‘Improving sub-nationals resilience against global economic stock’ at the 7th edition of Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit (KADInvest 7.0), said the NNPC should be unbundled into different companies for effective and efficient management of the oil sector.

“NNPC is a money pit instead of a cash cow; it should be unbundled and disbanded. More can be had from simply levying royalties and CIT on private players following models like that of Petronas and Petrobras,” he said.

He described the oil sector as Nigeria’s purse adding, “Beyond the challenging global context, Nigeria has problems entirely of its own making where oil revenues which were once the lifeblood of the Federal Government, have been in secular decline for over a decade. This has been happening regardless of the oil price environment.”

He lamented that the Federal Government is set to collect just $2.9 billion in oil proceeds this year, compared with nearly $60 billion in 2011 saying, “This is one of the biggest oversights in public financial management anywhere in emerging markets.

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According to him: “In some ways Nigeria’s problems are not a failure of the system because it is working as one would expect, but a failure of design and a failure of implementation.

“In the current environment, the first and most obvious problem is the existence of the fuel subsidy and opportunities this creates for fraud, the average daily fuel consumption in Nigeria (by the NNPC’s admission) is 66 million litres per day, and on some days as high as 100 million litres per day. This is roughly equivalent to where Indonesia (2019), a country with nearly three times Nigeria’s GDP per capita, two times the number of vehicles and 2.5 times the size of the road network.

“A different way to benchmark Nigeria’s consumption is to look at PMS consumed by each vehicle on a daily basis, on this metric, Nigeria even outranks Iran, a country with three to four times its level of wealth and a road network that is three times the size on a per capita basis and this is not just the impact of subsidies because in Iran official fuel price are 5 US cents per litre, less than 15% of the pump price in Nigeria.”

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