The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has disclosed that it would be joining forces with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in checkmating crude oil theft, particularly petroleum products smuggling, a development said to have been impeding revenue generation from the nation’s natural resource.
The national oil company noted that it would also be collaborating with the 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 negatively impacting the nation’s economy.
NNPC Managing Director, Mele Kyari, said that the move followed a directive by President Muhammadu Buhari who mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, EFCC, and all other security agencies to join forces and do everything to stop crude oil theft and illicit truck-out of petroleum products
Speaking recently at a stakeholders’ meeting at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, Kyari described crude oil theft and illicit truck-out of petroleum products 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 and ensure that the daily national petroleum products consumption which shot up to 102million litres in May was brought down to realistic levels 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),” Mallam Kyari submitted.
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 60million litres. We all know that, and that is why we have to pull it down. We will pull it down by every means necessary,” Mallam Kyari assured.
He said that NNPC would emplace Advanced Cargo Declaration in line with global best practices to tackle the issue of crude oil theft in the country.
Speaking in a similar vein, the EFCC Executive Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, 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.