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Smuggling keeps fuel consumption level unknown, says NNPC


Petroleum tankers

Elders petition Osinbajo over resumption of oil operation in Ogoniland
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, is unknown due to growing smuggling of the product into other West African countries.

NNPC’s Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Henry Obih, who spoke yesterday at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, said consumption pattern of the product among Nigerians contributed to reasons why the group could not ascertain the level of consumption

Besides, he said the National Economic Council (NEC) had mandated the state-oil-firm to work with the Ministry of Finance, as well as the World Bank, to determine the exact daily consumption.

“One significant challenge is the fact that we have cross-border smuggling. Nigeria remains the cheapest source of PMS in the West African sub-region. All our neighbouring countries are selling at over 200 per cent high of the price that we pay at the pump.”

In another development, Ogoni elders have petitioned the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, to prevail on the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, to discontinue efforts to resume crude oil exploitation in Ogoniland to avert endangering the fragile peace of the community.

The elders, under the aegis of Gbo Kabaari Ogoni, said while Ogoni people were not opposed to the resumption of oil and gas production activities, but should not be made a condition precedent for the clean-up and remediation of the environment.

The petition was endorsed by former President of the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, Senator Bennett Birabi, Dr. Desmond Nbete, Mr. Baritor L. Kpagih, Prof. Johnson Nna, Rear Admiral J. N. Bakpo (rtd), Revd. Canon (Dr.) Abraham Olungwe, Chief Monday Abueh, John Pascal Nalley, Michael B. Aloega and Dr Meshach Kara.

The elders said they were seriously concerned that two years after the much publicised flag-off ceremony for the clean-up of Ogoni land as recommended by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the minister is now allegedly tying the expected commencement of the clean-up and remediation process to resumption of oil and gas activities in Ogoniland.

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