Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari has blamed the huge price differential in the pump price of petrol in Nigeria and neighbouring countries for the high rate of smuggling of the commodity across the nation’s borders.
Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC spokesperson, quoted Kyari to have stated this during a presentation at an interactive session by the joint senate committee on the 2022-2024 medium term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper (MTEF/FSP), on Thursday.
Kyari expressed that with a price difference of over N100 per litre between what is sold in Nigeria and in countries around the nation, it was difficult to curb the activities of petrol smugglers.
He explained that concerted efforts by the corporation and some federal agencies to combat the menace of smuggling of petroleum products have been largely hampered by the current arbitrage situation.
The NNPC boss stated that though the corporation, working in concert with other agencies, has made noticeable progress in combating the menace, the battle was yet to be won.
He emphasised that the activities of smugglers had also made it difficult for the country to determine the actual consumption figures for petrol.
He noted that the NNPC could only know what was trucked out from loading depots across the country but could not determine how much of that was consumed in-country.