The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has revealed plans to employ electronic means in monitoring fuel distribution across the country, in a bid to check the illicit activities of smugglers.
This was revealed by the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari, during the public hearing of the 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) anchored by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.
Commenting on this, Kyari said: ‘’There is an ongoing initiative to put electronic monitor on tank and fuel stations that would monitor the distribution of fuel in the country. With the electronic monitoring, every truck carrying fuel would be visible as they discharged their load and would see all the fuel stations as they discharged.’’
Kyari also opined that although the national fuel consumption per day may not be above 60 million liters as being speculated, however anything less than that figure as supplied by the NNPC might spell doom for the nation.
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He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had personally directed him to take step that would curtail cross-border smuggling, while also admitting the challenges posed by land borders, aiding activities of smugglers.
Speaking on measures undertaken by the NNPC to curtail the smuggling of petroleum products across borders, the NNPC GMD stated that the corporation was already engaging the Republic of Niger to establish a retail NNPC outlet.
In addition, he expressed doubts over reports that the country might exit the fuel subsidy regime in 2022. However, he noted that this might be feasible in 2023, especially when the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) might had been fully activated.
Finally, he seized the opportunity to rationalize why NNPC choose to be on the board of the newly constructed Dangote refinery, he noted that it was a calculated attempt, to boost storage and enhance greater access to petroleum products nationwide. Commenting on this, he said: “We are taking interest in Dangote refinery and up till now he dies not want us to take 50 per cent equity and it was structured on the fact that he must buy 3000 barrel of crude oil from us per day.’’
He explained that Dangote had a choice to buy crude oil from anywhere in the works but we insisted that he must buy from the country, stressing that it was a good deal the NNPC was proud to enter into. Kyari said that contrary to insinuation, the NNPC had not abandoned the country’s refineries and it was not about taking 500 million dollars loan to repair them. He said that none of the country’s refinery had undergone full scale rehabilitation since 2000.