Petrobarometer

NNPC blames smuggling as daily petrol consumption rises to 102m litres

Author:
Wasilat Azeez

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says smuggling across the borders increased the consumption of premium motor spirit, better known as petrol, to 102 million litres per day.

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Mele Kyari, group managing director of NNPC, disclosed this on Tuesday at a stakeholders meeting on strategies to curb the twin menace of petroleum products smuggling and crude oil theft which are negatively impacting the nation’s economy.

Kyari said the corporation was collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other relevant security agencies to tackle the smuggling problem.

“We all agree that smuggling is not a business that should be condoned because even for deregulated petroleum products, it brings extra cost burden on this country both in terms of safety and security of supply and in securing of foreign exchange,” a statement by Kennie Obateru, NNPC spokesman, quoted Kyari to have said.

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“It even constitutes more burden to this country when the product involved is a regulated product like premium motor spirit (PMS).”

He asked all industry stakeholders to collaborate with the corporation to ensure that the daily national petroleum products consumption which shot up to 102million litres in the month of May is brought down to realistic levels around 60million litres.

Kyari emphasised that it was obvious to all that that volume of petrol was not consumed by Nigerians alone.

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He explained that with the increasing price of crude oil at the global market and the OPEC+ production cuts, the country cannot afford to shoulder the cost of smuggling.

Speaking on the current petrol subsidy payment, Kyari said that with the current exchange rate, the pump price of petrol should be N256 per litre.

“If we are to sell at the market today at current exchange rate, we will be selling the product at about N256 to a litre. What we sell today is N162, so the difference is at a cost to the nation,’’ he said.

“I know that so much work is going on, and then we have to manage the volume that we are exposed to between this price of N162 and N256. The difference comes back to as much as N140 billion to N150 billion cost to the country monthly.

“And as long as the volume goes up, that money continues to increase and we have two sets of stress to face, the stress of supply and the stress of foreign exchange for the NNPC.”

In his remark, Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC chairman, expressed the readiness of the commission to work with the NNPC to ensure that all those involved in the economic sabotage were brought to book.

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