Government moves to tackle petrol smuggling
The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mele Kyari has said Nigerians should be paying at least N256 per litre for petrol.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting organized by the NNPC in Abuja on how to stop smuggling of petrol in the country Kyari noted that given the current exchange rate the pump price of petrol should be N256 litres.
“If we are to sell at the market today at the current exchange rate, we will be selling the product at about N256 to a litre. What we sell today is N162, so the difference is at a cost to the nation,’’ he said.
According to him, the country cannot sustain subsidy payment with the high volume of daily consumption, pointing out that the country coughs up N150 billion every month on subsidy.
The NNPC boss further explained, “As long as we don’t regulate volume until we are able to exit this current level, which I know so much work is going on, then we have to manage the volume that we are exposed to between this price of N162 and N256. The difference comes back to as much as N140 billion to N150 billion cost to the country monthly.
“As long as the volume goes up, that money continues to increase, and we have two sets of stress to face: the stress of supply and stress of foreign exchange for the NNPC. We may not see foreign exchange cheque taking place for importation.’’
Kyari, who convened the meeting said the current situation had kept the country in a state of bleeding, as it could not sustain the payment of subsidy that accompanies the volume put at 100 million liters.
He said that the introduction of Operation White and involvement of the EFCC had helped the situation adding that from the truck out the report from the PPPRA database, there has been a collapse of load out average move from 70 million litres to 60 million litres just in one month, which means that the country can do with less than 70 million litres.
“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. 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.
“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 said.
The GMD said 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.
He said that the corporation had incorporated the EFCC, the Department of Security Services (DSS), the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on a platform to achieve this.