Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Sunday disclosed that the alleged unwholesome activities of cross-border smugglers of petrol in border states across Nigeria have now forced it to record a daily under-recovery worth N774 million in its importation and distribution of petrol in the country.
NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated this in a meeting he had with the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Hameed Ali, in Abuja at the weekend.
A statement from the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, contained Baru’s conversation with Ali. In it, Baru raised the alarm that the proliferation of fuel stations in communities with international land and coastal borders across the country was affecting NNPC’s capacity to supply petrol to cities in the country as well as its financial bottom-line.
Baru insisted that this development has energised unprecedented cross-border smuggling of petrol to neighbouring countries, and making it difficult for the corporation to sanitise the fuel supply and distribution challenges Nigeria has.
He said detailed study conducted by the NNPC showed a strong correlation between the presence of the border stations and the activities of fuel smuggling syndicates, and that this had led to NNPC’s observed abnormal surge in the daily consumption rate of Nigeria and evacuation of petrol from less than 35 million litres per day to more than 60 million litres per day.
This, he added, was in sharp contrast with the established national consumption pattern.