Bayelsa carpets NNPC over dwindling allocations

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Simon Utebor, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government has carpeted the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the dwindling federal allocations to states and local governments.

It insisted that there was no reason why the allocations should not improve.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd), stated this on Wednesday while presenting the income and expenditure profile of the state, for the months of June and July, at the Government House, Yenagoa.

Jonah expressed worries that while every analysis showed that things had improved, the indications from the NNPC were contrary to the thinking of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum with regard to remittances.

The deputy governor noted that crude oil exploitation had improved due to reduction in militant activities in the Niger Delta just as the naira was devalued by 100 per cent, which ought to have resulted in improved federal allocations.

Jonah stated, “So, even if you are not increasing, the thinking of the Governors’ Forum is that as long as you have devalued, you can compensate for the loss of crude oil exported. Now, the oil increased, we are always the victim. No Niger Delta violence, but now they are out there enjoying; having a field day. Nobody disturbs.

“Why should the money be reducing while all the variables you can identify are very favourable and increasing? Up until now, as far as I am concerned, they have not given us an answer.”

He said since Nigerians started criticising the subsidy payment on petrol, the NNPC had changed the name, allegedly saying if it continued to use the word subsidy, it would be in trouble.

According to him, the NNPC claims that 60 million litres of petrol is being consumed daily, while the Department of Petroleum Resources says it is 36 million litres per day and that the corporation has been paying subsidy on 60 million litres of fuel.

On the issue of smuggling across the borders, Jonah said the entire filling stations at the borders had a total capacity of four million litres and that even if Nigeria was supplying the neighbouring countries, it could not be up to 10 million litres daily.

He added, “The Nigeria Customs Service said that we are consuming 38 per cent. Of course they pay subsidy on something that does not exist. As far as the Governors’ Forum is concerned, they are paying subsidy and they pay it from the Excess Crude Account.”

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