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NNPC pledges transparency in fuel import, anti-smuggling operations

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has reiterated its commitment to entrenching downstream competitiveness using innovation and information technology.
 
The Corporation also pledged to sustain actions that will curb smuggling of fuel across the nation’s borders as well as authenticate actual volumes of products imported and consumed locally.
   
The Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Adeyemi Adetunji, made this assertion while declaring open the 13th Oil Trading and Logistics Expo, taking place in Lagos.

  
Adetunji, who was represented by the Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), Bala Wunti, said emerging market trends towards a digitised and automated world necessitate a rapid shift in focus for all downstream players.
 
According to Adetunji, old approaches of driving cost efficiency and safety are pretty much exhausted, hence in line with the Corporation’s TAPE Agenda, NNPC is aggressively working on digitising its downstream operations.
     
Themed, “Downstream competitiveness through growth, innovation, and technology,” he noted that emerging value models revolve around the confluence of a hydrocarbon and a data economy, hence all hands must be put on deck to fully digitalise the downstream sector.
     
“We want to ensure that the downstream works and works for Nigeria to ensure energy security. We also give a commitment to Nigeria through the operation white that we have just launched that all that we have consumed is going to be a thing of the past. It is going to provide transparency and accountability and it is going to ensure energy security for all and sundry to support the business community,” he stated.
  
On his part, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, reiterated the government’s plans to achieve 40 per cent fuel switch to Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) by 2025, courtesy of its LPG initiative.
  
The Minister said: “The recently launched ‘Operation White’ has been strategically developed to eradicate the smuggling of PMS across Nigerian borders. The Government will not relent on the sustenance of the programme. A team of 89 persons drawn from five key Agencies has been mandated to ensure transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country.”
 
He said these persons would, in addition, authenticate actual volumes of products imported and consumed; ensure the nation attains energy security; reduce diversion of PMS and stop financial haemorrhage; improve downstream operations and create commercial opportunities.

The Chairman, OTL Africa Downstream, Emeka Akabogu, said global economic challenges have fuelled renewed urgency to diversify operations to maximise the sector’s potential.

He noted that renewed consciousness has resulted in significant investment in key elements of the value chain, indicating a paradigm shift that emphasizes technological evolution, capacity development, supply chain efficiency, and value addition.
  
He said from petroleum retail to haulage, marine logistics platforms and several refinery projects that aim to balance the discrepancy caused by inadequate refining capacity on the continent, there is no shortage of effort by the industry.


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