The National Executive Council (NEC) has tasked the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Ministry of Finance to undertake an audit exercise to determine the actual volume of petrol consumed daily in the country.
According to Henry Ikem-Obih, NNPC’s chief operating officer (COO), downstream, the country’s daily fuel consumption was currently unknown because of a number of factors, which he said include, smuggling and the various consumption pattern of the commodity among Nigerians.
In terms of daily truck out from depots around the country and the records of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the NNPC trucked out 48 million litres daily in 2016, and 50 million litres in 2017.
Ikem-Obih, made this known at the 2018 edition of the annual Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, adding that the audit would also include inputs from the World Bank.
“We are presently in a joint project with the Federal Ministry of Finance. We are doing a study around consumption, to determine the actual consumption by the people. We have to determine what we call the daily load out or the evacuation, as against the actual consumption; what people go to the pump every day to buy for their cars, for their generators at home and for other uses of petrol,” Ikem-Obih said.
“This is why NEC has mandated that we work with the Federal Ministry of Finance. We also had meeting with the World Bank about six weeks ago, and we are trying to progress in a global study that would help us get around the actual numbers of what we consume in Nigeria,” he said.
He added that the nation was challenged by cross-border smuggling, explaining that Nigeria remained the cheapest source of petrol in the West African sub-region as its neighbours were selling at over 200 per cent higher than its price.
“If you go to Niger, Cameroon, then it is in the 400 per cent region; for the rest of the countries, it is about N360 to N370, as against the N145 per litre that we sell. That is sufficient incentives for those who want to take the product across the border to sell and make a good margin,” he added.
He said, however, that the NNPC was working closely with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies to ensure the situation improved significantly.