The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies and relevant downstream and upstream stakeholders in the petroleum industry to curb the twin menace of petroleum products smuggling and crude oil theft.
The para-military security organizations NNPC is partnering with are Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said at a stakeholders’ meeting at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, that the move was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari who mandated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC, the EFCC and all other security agencies to do everything to stop crude oil theft and illicit truck-out of petroleum products.
He said the president had classified oil theft as major economic crimes that have hindered Nigerians from enjoying the benefits of subsidized petroleum products.
Kyari 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 around 60million litres.
“It is obvious to all that that volume of premium motor spirit (PMS) is 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 in a statement by Dr. Kennie Obateru, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, a copy of which was given to Persecondnews.
With the increasing price of crude oil at the global market and the OPEC+ production cuts, the NNPC boss said 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.”
He said 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 Executive Chairman of EFCC, Mr 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 with the NNPC to bring an end to petroleum products smuggling across the country’s borders.