The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, has said subsidies for petrol and kerosene cost Nigeria $65 billion between 2011 and 2015.
The minister, who made this known on Thursday in a presentation at a two-day African modular refinery forum, further added that the amount excluded an estimated $6bn lost by the country to vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure.
Kachikwu was represented by Olumide Adeleke, the deputy director, engineering and standards of the DPR.
The minister also lamented the fact that the country was still importing 92 per cent of its daily fuel consumption despite its four refineries.
“The foreign exchange requirement for importation of petroleum products is estimated at $28bn (N3.35tn) annually, with 40 per cent of the total amount (N1.34tn) dedicated to financing the logistics of importation,” the minister said.
Kachikwu reiterated his resolve to ensure that Nigeria achieves 50 per cent domestic refining capacity by 4th quarter of 2018 and 100 per cent domestic refining capacity by 4th quarter of 2019.
In an interview on BBC World Service programme, HardTalk, Kachikwu also stated that since he took office, he has been able to get the refineries back to begin to produce 7 million litres of petroleum product compared to zero previously.