The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says smuggling across the borders has increased the daily consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to 103 million litres per day in May.
The Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Mele Kyari, made this known at stakeholders meeting organised by the corporation to discuss how best to stop smuggling in the country.
Kari said the current situation had kept the country in a bleeding state, as it could not sustain the payment of subsidy that accompanies the volume.
He said that the introduction of Operation White and involvement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had helped the situation.
“From the truck out report from the PPPRA data base, we have seen collapse of load out average move from 70 million litres to 60 million litres just in one month, that means we can do with less than 70 million, the balance, I don’t know where it goes to but we know for sure that it is not consumed in this country.
“In very recent data, we see what we really want in the beginning of May and June, there was a day we loaded 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,” he said.
He 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.
“Mr President has directed us that we must stop smuggling or round tripping if there is anything like that, and so we must stop it by every means necessary, and we must do anything to stop it, that means we have to work outside the box.
“We know that there are layers of controls that have been there that is not working and that is why we must work outside the box.
“That is why we are happy to drag in the EFCC, DSS, NSCDC, and even the NCS on a different platforms that will enable us to control this volume and we have seen it work,” he added.
Commenting on the current PMS and subsidy payment, Kyari explained that with the current exchange rate, the pump price of petrol should be N256 per litre.
“If we are to sell at the market today at 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, with the high volume of daily consumption, the country cannot sustain subsidy payment.
“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 — stress of supply and stress of foreign exchange for the NNPC. We may not see foreign exchange cheque taking place for importation,” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resource, Chief Timipre Sylva, said smuggling is not a business and would never be a legitimate business.