NNPC, Customs, DPR clamp down on petroleum smugglers
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have agreed to clamp down on smugglers of petroleum products from Nigeria to other countries.
Smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to other African countries reportedly adds to the challenge of supply and petrol subsidy.
The strategic move to tame the malaise was decided at a meeting at the Customs House yesterday in Abuja.
Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru; the Comptroller General of NCS, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd.); and the Director of the DPR, Mordecai Ladan, were available at the meeting, according to a statement by NNPC spokesperson, Ndu Ighamadu.
Nigeria’s official daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) alone has risen exponentially to over 56 million litres, but stakeholders blame the rise on smuggling by oil marketers to neighbouring countries.
The GMD stated at the meeting that smuggling of petroleum products across the nation’s borders was causing serious problems to the nation’s revenue generation drive and had been subverting government’s efforts to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products in parts of the country.
Dr. Baru explained that the malaise also denied Nigerians the full benefit of the current administration’s goodwill.
His words: “Smuggling is undermining Nigeria’s economic growth, as huge amount of money is spent in terms of under-recovery. This huge loss is draining the treasury. Remember, these are monies that could be used to develop several critical sectors of the economy.”
According to him, while the corporation had not relented in its efforts to flood the nation’s petroleum products market and avoid shortages at all times, the activities of unscrupulous marketers remained a major concern, as diversion and smuggling seem to continue unabated.