The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spent a total of N905.27bn on petrol subsidy in eight months amid rising global oil prices, the latest data obtained from the corporation show.

With the international oil benchmark, Brent crude, nearing $80 per barrel on Monday (up 2.07 per cent at $79.71 per barrel as of 7:00pm Nigerian time), the landing cost of imported petrol and subsidy are expected to increase.

The subsidy, which the NNPC prefers to call ‘value shortfall’ or ‘under-recovery’, resurfaced in January this year as the government left the pump price of petrol unchanged at N162-N165 per litre despite the increase in global oil prices.

The Federal Government had in March 2020 removed petrol subsidy after reducing the pump price of the product to N125 per litre from N145 following the sharp drop in crude oil prices.

The NNPC, which has been the sole importer of petrol into the country in recent years, has been bearing the subsidy cost since it resurfaced.

Data from the corporation showed that it incurred N25.37bn subsidy cost in January, N60.40bn in February, N111.97bn in March, and N126.30bn in April and N114.34bn in May.

The subsidy cost rose from N143.29bn in June to N175.32bn in July but fell to N149.28bn in August, according to the NNPC.

The August 2021 value shortfall of N149,283,084,869.20 is to be deducted from the September 2021 proceeds due for sharing at the October, 2021 FAAC meeting,” the corporation said in a document seen by our correspondent on Monday.

While marketers have continued to harp on the need to allow market forces to determine the pump price of petrol and do away with subsidy, it remains uncertain whether the discussions between the Federal Government and labour unions will lead to the deregulation of petrol prices.