Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, says there is no credible data to ascertain the daily consumption of petrol in Nigeria, since the product is being smuggled to other countries.
The CEO who disclosed this in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday, added that the NNPC only has data on the number of trucks that leave depots across the country with petrol.
Information Nigeria reports that over the past few days, there has been a resurgence of queues at filling stations across the country as the price of petrol skyrocketed owing to the declaration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that petrol “subsidy is gone.”
The Federal Government had been subsidising petrol at a huge cost for years and as such, the development had continued to elicit debate on the quantity of petrol consumed in the country.
While responding to the data for daily consumption of petrol in Nigeria, Kyari said Nigeria’s porous land borders contributed to the smuggling of subsidised petrol to other countries, such as Sudan, a country in North Africa.
“I don’t think there is any credible data on consumption but there is credible data on evacuation from the depots. They are very distinct,” Kyari said.
“Every truck that leaves every depot in this country is known – the truck driver and the planned destination of that product. We have these numbers (referring to trucks’ movement from depots).
“We assume that this is our consumption but we know that it might not be our consumption. We know that petroleum products are being smuggled out of the country.
“We know how much we supply. There is data on this. Is all of this consumed in the country? The answer is no. The reason is very simple. We have an arbitrage environment. For instance: before this decision we made, fuel sells for N185 in Abuja, just across your border there is nowhere you have prices that are lower than N500 to a litre.
“We are actually subsidising everybody else in West Africa. I can tell you a personal experience. I travel to Sudan for a visit when a Nigerian met me and said: ‘Gentleman, I understand you work for NNPC. Can you help me have access to fuel because people are bringing fuel here to make money from it?
“That means the fuel in this country goes as far as Sudan. For other neighbouring countries around us, you cannot even talk about it. They call it Nigerian fuel in many countries.
“None of the countries around us imports petroleum products and you can’t do something about it because there is an arbitrage environment that we have created. We have 4,500km of land borders and you don’t have all the resources to man these.”