The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to reduce its daily loss from N774 million to N516 million, Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, has said.
He said the corporation would achieve this by cutting the level of fuel consumed from 60 million to 40 million litres.
He noted that product diversion and activities of some unscrupulous marketers contributed to the high consumption and once the corporation plugged the holes, consumption level would drop.
In a telephone chat, Ughamadu said a large portion of the fuel supplied to the market was diverted to neighbouring countries, such as Benin Republic and Togo.
He said NNPC has partnered the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to check the smuggling of petroleum products.
Ughamadu said: “Our (NNPC’s) under-recovery was N774 million as at the time the level of fuel consumed in the country rose to 60 million litres per day. We, at NNPC, discovered that the higher the level of fuel that is being consumed in the country, the higher the losses recorded by the country, as a sizeable portion of the fuel is being smuggled out of the country.
“To reduce fuel consumption, which in most cases is smuggled out of the country, the corporation decided to partner the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). Through this means, the Customs would help to check smuggling of petroleum products by mounting surveillance at the borders.”
He said NNPC discovered 200 filling stations in one of the borders in the country, stressing that the partnership between it and the Customs would help in addressing problems such as hoarding and smuggling of petroleum products, which he said, contributed to the fuel scarcity last December.
“With the joint efforts of NNPC and the Customs, all illegal petrol stations at the borders would disappear soon and fuel consumption would reduce drastically.”
He said the level of fuel consumption was 39million litres per day, adding that it grew to 80million litres per day during the fuel scarcity and later 60million litres.
According to him, Nigerians are erroneously blaming NNPC for fuel scarcity that occurred recently, without considering other factors that caused it.
On fuel scarcity, he said there was no scarcity in the country, as NNPC has supplied enough fuel to marketers for distribution to their retail outlets.
He said there is fuel in states like Imo, Enugu, and Anambra, stressing that the rumour that those states do not have fuel was not true.
He said there is a difference between selling fuel above the official pump price of N145 per litre by some marketers in the East and its unavailability.
Ugbhamadu said all hands were on deck to rid the fuel market of saboteurs who were frustrating the efforts of the government to supply fuel at approved pump price.