The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it spent about 5.8 billion dollars to import Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol to combat fuel crisis that resurfaced since late last year.
In a statement signed by Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs unit in Abuja, on Tuesday, it said the PMS was equivalent of 9.8 million metric tons.
According to the statement, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikant iBaru, disclosed this during a public hearing by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Finance and Accounts, Mr. AbdulrazaqIsiaka, he said that the corporation carried out the massive importation in fulfilment of its statutory role of supplier of last resort.
This, he said was to ensure that Nigerians do not suffer as a result of product unavailability.
The GMD in the statement noted the corporation’s provision of 9.8 million metric tons of petrol so far had helped a great deal in ameliorating the suffering of Nigerians.
He said the corporation’s intervention became necessary following the inability of the major and independent marketers to import the product.
He pointed out that cross-border smuggling due to price disparity between Nigeria and neighbouring countries as well as logistic issues in trucking products to different locations across the country remained serious challenges in the quest for fuel queue-free situation in the country.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Sen. Matthew Uroghide, noted that the public hearing was a part of the Committee’s duty to find lasting solutions to the problem of fuel scarcity in order to make life easy for all Nigerians.