Officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation are currently meeting with oil marketers over issues bordering on the rise in the smuggling of petrol from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.
Participants at the meeting, which include members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria and other dealers, are discussing with NNPC officials behind closed doors.
It was learnt that while issues of transportation and distribution of petrol were being discussed, greater attention was given to the widespread smuggling of Nigeria’s petrol.
For more than three years, NNPC has been the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, as depot owners, major and independent oil marketers get the commodity from the corporation before dispensing it to final consumers.
On March 29, media reported that the supply of petrol had risen above the pre-COVID-19 levels, crossing 70 million litres daily in the fourth quarter of 2020.
NNPC said 2.25 billion litres of petrol were sold and distributed in December, translating to 72.72 million litres per day as against 57.44 million litres in November.
Petrol supply by the NNPC jumped to 77.17 million litres daily in October from 52.63 million litres in September and 63.27 million litres in January 2020, according to NNPC data.
Prior to the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), the country’s petrol consumption was estimated at between 35 million to 40 million litres daily.
The NNPC, in a statement on February 8, 2018, put the country’s petrol consumption level at 35 million litres daily.
The corporation had said in July 2019 that petrol was being smuggled out of the country to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire as a result of the price disparity of petrol between Nigeria and the other West African countries.
In November 2019, the Federal Government banned the supply of petroleum products to filling stations within 20 kilometres to the land borders.