The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said it has witnessed a significant drop in evacuation of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known as petrol, from the depots since August 22.
In a tweet on his Twitter handle, NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, attributed the drop to the Federal Government’s border restriction policy and efforts of security agencies aimed at curbing smuggling.
“Significant drop in PMS evacuation from fuel depots noted since August 22nd. May be connected to border closure and other interventions of the security agencies aimed at curbing smuggling. We will contain smuggling of PMS,” Kyari tweeted.
Significant drop in PMS evacuation from fuel depots noted since August 22nd. May be connected to border closure and other interventions of the security agencies aimed at curbing smuggling. We will contain smuggling of PMS.
— Mele Kyari (@MKKyari) September 7, 2019
NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Henry Obih, had during a panel discussion on “Harnessing the opportunities to draw Nigeria closer to energy security”, at the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference, in July, explained that smuggling of petrol from Nigeria to neighbouring countries is because the product was cheaper in Nigeria than in many other West African nations.
“This is because of the level of arbitrage in price. For instance, in the Niger Republic, you are able to sell a litre of petrol for N427, while we (Nigeria) are selling at N145/litre, and if is taken from the dealer, it is N133.28/litre. So, the arbitrage is huge.
“So, if you check the difference in pricing between Nigeria at N145/litre and the rest of those markets, there are more incentives for a person looking for opportunities to engage in smuggling activities,” Orbih said.
“However, there is a combined effort from all the security agencies to tackle these issues. Based on our numbers, we are averaging 54.2 litres of PMS every day, and that is a significant reduction in terms of evacuation and not consumption. That is a much lower number than when it was 97 million litres a day,” he added.