By Chineme Okafor in Abuja
In a move to check cross-border smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to other African countries,
the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has enlisted the cooperation of members of the African Union of Transportation and Logistics Organisation, a continental transport union.
The state oil company, in a statement said smuggling of petroleum products has continued to negatively affect Nigeria’s fuel supply and distribution system, noting that its Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru met with a delegation of the transport union in Abuja.
Signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the statement explained that members of the continental transport union led by their president, Mr. Mustapha Chaeun met with Baru in Abuja.
Baru, according to the statement saod the collaboration would not only help to stop the menace of fuel smuggling but also help rid the West African corridor of other vices that are associated with the illicit businesses.
Late in 2018, the NNPC reportedly linked Nigeria’s rising daily fuel consumption which the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) put at an average of 53 million litres per day, to cases of cross-border smuggling.
It equally stated that it had enlisted the cooperation of the Nigeria Customs Service to end the practice.
However, the statement explained that Baru charged the continental transportation union to ensure that its members comply with extant laws and regulations on speed limits, axial weight of haulage tankers and other sundry regulations necessary to ensure safety of high ways across the African terrain.
He said the NNPC was open to new areas of mutual collaboration with the organisation while calling on the transportation union members to take full advantage of its vast business portfolio and strategic position in the West African sub-region and beyond to expand business interest and areas of cooperation.
The statement also quoted Chaeun, to have said that the union was ready to comply with extant laws and regulations in countries where they operate.
While thanking Baru, Chaeun equally stated that the composition of the union members which include groups from West, Central, East and North Africa, made it imperative for them to work with key continental institutions like the NNPC to maximise its strategic role in the region.
: “We expect collaboration on many levels: first at the level of development of our sector, the transport sector, and to enhance human resources management.
“On another level, there is the need for training our professional drivers that work in transport sector,” he said.