The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has revealed the corporation is collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other relevant stakeholders in the petroleum industry, to curb the threat of petroleum products smuggling and crude oil theft which are major economic crimes that have hindered the country’s economic growth.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the partnership was the order of President Muhammadu Buhari who directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC, the EFCC and all other security agencies to do all it can to tackle the issue of crude oil theft and illegal smuggling of petroleum products in the country.
In the statement, industry stakeholders were urged to partner with the Corporation to ensure that the daily national petroleum products consumption which shot up to 102million liters in the month of May is brought down to realistic levels around 60million liters.
“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 burdens to this country when the product involved is a regulated product like Premium Motor Spirit (PMS),” Mallam Kyari said.
Mallam Kyari explained that with the increasing price of crude oil at the global market and the OPEC+ production cuts, the country cannot afford to bear 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.
He added that the NNPC would emplace Advanced Cargo Declaration in line with global best practices to tackle the issue of crude oil theft in the country.
The Executive Chairman of EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, also expressed the readiness of the Commission to work with the NNPC in order to ensure that all those involved in economic crimes are 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 the NNPC to bring an end to petroleum products smuggling.