Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, says he doubts Nigeria’s daily consumption of 60 million litres of petrol.
He disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting organised by the corporation to stop smuggling. According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria is losing millions of litres of petrol daily to smugglers.
Mr Sylva stated, “I will like to put it on record that whatever we are trying to do in the area of deregulation will not make sense without us exactly knowing the actual consumption of PMS.
“When I first came in as minister, I was informed that the daily consumption in the country was around 60 to 62 million litres a day, which to me sounded a little bit outrageous considering the number of cars we have on the road.”
Speaking further, he noted, “But somehow, the figures I understand today have come down to around 52 million litres. Maybe the number of vehicles has suddenly reduced.
“But you will agree with me that something is wrong. That is why tracking trucks loading products is essential for us to move forward on this issue of subsidy removal.”
He added that illegal export of products through the borders, whether the land or sea, must be stopped, adding Operation White commissioned in 2020 had not worked effectively.
NNPC’s boss Mele Kyari disclosed during the meeting that the corporation had brought in the EFCC, the SSS, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to stop petrol smugglers.
Expressing his delight, the junior petroleum minister said, “I believe that with the EFCC in the picture, the system will work better and know that the Petroleum Equalisation Fund is also working on product tracking arrangement.
“For me, I am happy to see that the EFCC is working with us, and if we can get this right, I think our movement toward deregulation will be better assured.’’