The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, said the Federal Government removed subsidy on petrol because of fraud.
Kyari said some cabals which he failed to identify perpetrated the fraud in the oil industry.
The NNPC boss also said over N10tn was spent on fuel subsidy between 2006 and 2020 without significant impact on the Nigerian masses.
He said the beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy regime were the marketers who smuggled the subsidised product to neighbouring countries.
These marketers, he explained, made more profits with fake documents to collect subsidy for fuel they never imported.
The NNPC GMD spoke in an Hausa programme on Liberty FM, Kaduna, monitored on Saturday.
He said fuel subsidy was the root of all the atrocities and frauds in the oil sector.
According to him, the government removed the subsidy with a plan to reinvest on projects that will have direct impact on the masses.
He said, “The crude oil is a global commodity and its price is not hidden. Everyone can calculate and know how much the cost of every final product from the crude at international market is.
“Since the inception of the country, the government has been paying subsidy on petrol to make it cheaper for Nigerians to buy below the cost price.
“This subsidy is designed to assist the masses of Nigeria; that is the intention, but in reality, the masses are not the beneficiaries. First, the masses are not the owners of the exotic cars buying fuel, owning the filling stations and doing the oil business.
“This subsidy that the government has been paying over the years is the root of all the atrocities and fraud committed in this country.
“If you look at it from 2006 till 2020, we have spent over N10tn on fuel subsidy. Apart from that, there is also subsidy on foreign currencies. Everybody knows how much is dollar in the market, but government is also subsidising it. So, this and the fuel subsidy within this period is around N14tn to N15tn.
“What was happening with the subsidy is that, some marketers were smuggling fuel to other neighbouring countries because it was cheaper in Nigeria due to the subsidy.
“Another one is those who use fake documents and bring to government to collect subsidy for fuel they never imported and the previous government was paying them.
“So, it was not the masses of Nigeria that were enjoying this subsidy except some cabals, who are rich and powerful.”
He added that the cabal enriched themselves to the detriment of the masses who were the primary target of the subsidy.