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Fuel Intended For Nigerian Market Is Being Diverted by Cross-Border Smugglers – NMDPRA

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has revealed that the ongoing fuel shortage is a result of fuel smugglers’ activities.

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Assuring Nigerians that there would be more than 1.6 billion liters available as of January 26, 2023, the NMDPRA released this statement on Friday.

Remember that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited declared that the scarcity faced in some regions of the country was caused by the ongoing road projects in Lagos in November 2022 as Nigerians writhed under the agony inflicted by the current scarcity.

At a press conference, Adeyemi Adetunji, executive vice president of NNPC, announced this.

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“Petrol availability is declining across the nation’s states, and as a result, prices have risen to as much as N350 a litre, which has a severe effect on commuters.

Adetunji had stated that the latest lines in Lagos were primarily caused by ongoing road-building improvements in the Apapa area and access road issues in several areas of the Lagos depots.

However, in a different move, the regulatory body charged that petrol smugglers were responsible for the problem and promised to prosecute them in conjunction with the Nigeria Customs Service.

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The statement’s full text is as follows: “The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) desires to reassure all Nigerians that there is PMS sufficiency of over 1.6 billion liters as of January 26, 2023, both on land and sea.

In order to ensure national energy security and widespread availability at the price set by the government, the NNPC has also made a solid commitment to delivering more PMS in the coming months.

“The current distribution problem is made worse by cross-border smugglers’ operations, who divert PMS intended for the Nigerian market to neighboring nations where PMS prices are far higher than Nigeria’s authorized pricing. To solve this problem, we are coordinating and cooperating with the Nigeria Customs Service.

The reason for the price hike, it was further stated, was due to “inflation and the regional impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the global energy value chain, including international freight rates and coastal vessel charter prices.

We want the general public to be aware that the government’s ongoing effort to repair important Nigerian roads ahead of the rainy season has required the rerouting of tanker trucks transporting petroleum products to alternate roads, increasing transit times and associated costs of product transportation.

In the meantime, President Muhammadu Buhari last week formed a 14-member steering group to address the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country in an effort to rectify the problem.

The President will preside as chairman of the steering committee, and Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, will preside as vice-chairman.

According to a statement by Sylva on Tuesday and distributed by his senior media and communications advisor, Horatius Egua, the committee would, among other things, make sure that the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country is transparent and efficient.

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