The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says smuggling across the borders increased the daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to 103 million litres per day in May.
The Corporation’s Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari made the revelation at a stakeholders meeting organised by the corporation to discuss how best to stop smuggling in the country.
He lamented that the situation had kept the country in a state of bleeding, as it could not sustain the payment of subsidy that accompanies the volume.
The NNPC boss said: “From the truck out report from the PPPRA data base, we have seen collapse of load out average move from 70 million litres to 60 million litres just in one month, that means we can do with less than 70 million, the balance, I don’t know where it goes to but we know for sure that it is not consumed in this country.
“In very recent data, we see what we really want in the beginning of May and June, there was a day we load out about 103 million litres of PMS within one day across the depots.
Ripples Nigeria understands that the current official petrol consumption remains at 52 million litres, meaning the extra 51 million liter suspected to have been smuggled out of the country in a day may have cost the country over N4 billion in subsidy payments.
As at April the expected retail price of petrol is N239.31 per litre subtracted from the current pump price of N162 per litre it indicates a subsidy of N77.31 per litre for the 51 million liters.
“We know it is not required, we know it is inappropriate and we also know that something wrong is happening that somebody is chasing something,” NNPC boss said.
“But we in NNPC, we are not in control of that, we are not in every depot, we don’t keep products in all the depot but when the volume goes down, it comes down to us, when there is tight in supply, it comes back to the NNPC and we solve the problem”
Kyari also noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that smuggling must stop, adding that it was the reason for inviting all stakeholders to chart the way forward.
According to him, the corporation had incorporated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Department of State Services (DSS), the Nigeria Customs services (NCS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on a platform to achieve this.
Also speaking at the meeting, Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum stated that the current figure of consumption was 52 million litres, raising fear that 51 million litres of the product were lost to theft or smuggling in the month of May.
“When I first came in as minister, I was informed that the daily consumption in the country was around 60 to 62 million litres a day, which to me sounded a little bit outrageous considering the number of cars we have on the road”
“But somehow, the figures, I understand today have come down to around 52 million litres, may be the number of vehicles have suddenly reduced, but you will agree with me that something is wrong that is why the tracking of trucks loading products is essential for us to move forward on this issue of subsidy removal,’’ the minister said.
Sylva also added that illegal export of products through the borders whether the land or sea must be stopped.
“I believe that with the EFCC in the picture, I think the system will work better and now that Petroleum Equalisation Fund, is also working on product tracking arrangement. For me, I am happy to see that the EFCC is working with us and if we can get this right, I think our movement toward deregulation will be better assured,’’ he said
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