The Federal Government has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to immediately cut down the consumption rate of Premium Motor Spirit from the current 102 million litres to 60 million litres.
The government also asked the NNPC to collaborate with security agencies in the country to clamp down on petroleum products smuggling and crude oil theft, averring that they are responsible for the bloated consumption.
Group managing director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, made this disclosure on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ meeting at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, where he said the directive was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari who he said, claimed that Nigerians were not consuming up to 60 million litres.
Kyari said Buhari directed the Corporation to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other relevant downstream and upstream stakeholders in the petroleum industry to curb the twin menace of petroleum products smuggling and crude oil theft.
According to Kyari, the president mandated them and the security agencies to do everything to stop crude oil theft and illicit truck-out of petroleum products which he described as major economic crimes that have hindered Nigerians from enjoying the benefit of subsidized petroleum products.
He urged all industry stakeholders to collaborate with the Corporation to ensure that the daily national petroleum products consumption which shot up to 102million litres in the month of May is brought down to realistic levels of around 60million litres, stressing that it was obvious to all that that volume of premium motor spirit (PMS) was not consumed by Nigerians alone.
“We all agree that smuggling is not a business that should be condoned because even for deregulated petroleum products it brings extra cost burden on this country both in terms of safety and security of supply and in securing of foreign exchange. It even constitutes more burden to this country when the product involved is a regulated product like Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” Kyari said.
The GMD explained that with the increasing price of crude oil at the global market and the OPEC+ production cuts, the country cannot afford to shoulder the cost of smuggling.
“We all know that our daily consumption is not up to 60 million litres. We all know that, and that is why we have to pull it down. We will pull it down by every means necessary,” Kyari assured.
He said NNPC would implement the Advanced Cargo Declaration in line with global best practices to tackle the issue of crude oil theft in the country.
EFCC Executive Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, speaking in a similar vein, expressed the readiness of the Commission to work with the NNPC to ensure that all those involved in the economic sabotage were brought to book.
The Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMA), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and all the other stakeholders also expressed readiness to partner the NNPC to bring an end to petroleum products smuggling