Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the country is unable to meet its production quota due to unwarranted oil theft in the sector.
Emefiele said this on Monday at the end of the 284th monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.
After MPC meeting, , the committee concluded to retain the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), otherwise known as the interest rate, at 11.5 percent with the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR.
The apex bank governor, said one of the factors responsible for the issue of fuel scarcity in the country apart from the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war is a high trend of oil theft.
He added that the global prices have gone up and are compounded by the shortage of supply of petroleum products.
“Apart from the Russia-Ukraine war, crude prices have increased due to supply shortage and of course, for Nigeria, we have not been able to meet the export quota primarily because of unwarranted oil theft that we see in our environment today. This has resulted in the increase in the price of diesel and petrol,” Emefiele said.
“Also, because of the war, there’s been a rising price not just in crude oil but also in food. The increase is so astronomical that it is not just affecting Nigeria but the world.”
Emefiele further spoke on MPC’s concern on the unprecedented oil theft as well as the hike in the price of diesel, adding that it has a huge impact on the economy.
He consequently urged the management of the sector to take quick action.
“The Committee also raises concerns on the increase in oil theft and the impact on government revenue and reserves,” he said.
“It is however hopeful that the takeoff of Dangote refinery will help improve the supply of petroleum products in Nigeria.
“MPC also said the rising price of diesel is compounded by the inadequate supply of electricity in Nigeria, which has impacted domestic prices.
“It, therefore, advises the authorities to take specific and urgent action to avoid many powering systems to shut down and turn around maintenance to stop the shut down of generating assets.”
He added that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and the finance ministry are working towards ensuring the availability of fuel.
“The minister of finance and NNPC are holding engagements to see what can be done to make sure that petroleum products are made available. So that they can be imported and all filling stations can have these products, and the bank is ready to intervene to make sure that these shortages stop.”