The volume of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, that was consumed across the country in the first half of 2023 is 11.26 billion litres, the Federal Government has said.
It was, however, observed that after the removal of subsidy on petrol, following the pronouncement by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, PMS consumption reduced by an average of about 18.5 million litres daily in June.
Data obtained on Sunday from the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority in Abuja, on Sunday, showed that between January 1 and May 28, 2023, which was the pre-deregulation period, the total amount of petrol consumed nationwide was about 9.9 billion litres.
The average consumption for the 148-day period was put at 66.9 million litres, indicating the country consumed an average of 66.9 million litres of petrol daily during the five-month period when subsidy on petrol was still in place.
But figures from the Federal Government agency indicated that between June 1 to June 28, 2023, which was described as the post-deregulation period, the total petrol consumption across the country was 1.36 billion litres, while the average daily consumption was put at 48.43 million litres.
An analysis of the data by our correspondent showed that the difference between the average monthly consumption figures during the pre-deregulation and post-deregulation periods was about 18.5 million litres.
This implies that the average daily consumption of petrol across the country reduced by about 18.5 million litres after subsidy on commodity was stopped by the Federal Government.
It was, however, observed that petrol consumption rose above 100 million litres in some days, while it fell to below 10 million litres in few other days.
A random pick of petrol consumption figures contained in the NMDPRA report, for instance, showed that on March 8, April 20, and May 16, Nigerians consumed 103.6 million litres, 105.02 million litres, and 101.9 million litres respectively.
These were during the ore-deregulation days, as figures from the post-deregulation period indicated that the country never consumed beyond 78.84 million litres all through the 28-day period captured in the document.
In fact, the 78.84 million litres was consumed on June 20, and it was the highest consumption figure during the post-deregulation period, while the lowest figure during the same period was the 470,000 litres that was consumed nationwide on June 11.
Subsidy caused terrible practices, says NAEE
The President, Nigeria Association for Energy Economics, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, said the fuel subsidy regime created avenues for terrible practices.
There had been repeated complaints by both the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and oil marketers that Nigeria’s petrol was being smuggled out of the country to neighbouring nations during the period when the commodity was subsidised.
Omorogbe, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, while announcing forthcoming 16th annual conference of the NAEE holding in Abuja, said the removal of fuel subsidies was a right step despite the harsh impact.