The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, has announced that the oil firm saved over $1bn of the cost of importing petroleum products into Nigeria.

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NNPC is the country’s sole importer of petrol and it currently subsidises the commodity, dispensing it to marketers at a subsidised rate, while dealers sell at between N162/litre to N165/litre.

Speaking during a live television programme, Kyari said NNPC was able to get petrol at the pumps at about N256/litre, whereas the cost of the commodity would have been about N290/litre.

He explained that since the cost of diesel was currently N280/litre, the price of petrol would have been N10 higher than diesel price, but that NNPC had been able to bring it into Nigeria at about N256/litre.

The corporation’s boss, however, noted that despite the fact that NNPC was bringing in the commodity at the N256/litre rate, it had maintained the cost to marketers at about N160/litre.

Kyari said, “Today NNPC is the sole importer of petroleum products. We are proudly saying as a company today that we have saved over $1bn of cost that would have been built in on the top of importing petroleum products into this country.

“And this is by the fact that we have a much more transparent import process and a partnership arrangement that is ensuring that value is returned to the shareholders.”

He added, “That means, instead of having a value beyond N280/litre, we are delivering products to the pump today at N256/litre and this means that we are saving over N30/litre because of the transparency that we have put in place.

“But what we are selling to the market is about N160/litre and these reasons are very obvious.”

He said the cost of petrol would remain at the current rate until the ongoing engagements with labour on the matter were concluded.

On why diesel was higher in price than petrol, he said AGO was fully deregulated in the downstream sector, while NNPC was incurring under-recovery on PMS.

On NNPC’s moves to invest in Dangote Refinery, he said the corporation would go ahead with its plans, adding that it would recover its cost in the refinery in five years.

Kyari again stated that he was unsure if Aliko Dangote would be interested in the proposal of the corporation to buy 20 per cent stake in the private facility.