The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says setting up filling stations in neighbouring countries is not the solution to petrol smuggling.
Mele Kyari, group managing director of NNPC, stated this in response to call being made by some Nigerians, asking for setting up of filiing stations in Neighboring countries in order to curb petrol smuggling.
Kyari stated this at the ongoing public hearing on 2022 to 2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP), in Abuja, organised by the house of representatives committee on finance.
Nigerian Custom Service Boss, Hamed Ali, is one of those suggesting the policy.
When asked to comment on Ali’s suggestion, Kyari, said: “I have also seen the recommendation by my elder brother, the CG of customs that we should go and establish fuel stations across our borders to contain smuggling,”
“The people who are smuggling are not looking for the official price for petroleum product, unfortunately. So when you go ahead across the countries and establish fuel stations, except you are going to sell it at 162, then everybody will come to you. So as long as you are going to sell it at the market price — It is the same reason that is bringing them here to smuggle.
“At the risk of being competitive, the people who take the product across the border will not sell at the official price because when you buy here at 162 at the official price, say in Niger is 400 — I don’t know what the price is — maybe N400 per litre, that is why you buy at the fuel station. So when you establish a fuel station, you must sell at 400. But when the smugglers…people hardly go to fuel station to buy fuel in Niger. So it is off the counter.
“As a matter of fact, we have thought of this, we are already engaging the national oil company of Niger, in particular, to establish NNPC retail fuel stations in the country but we are also cautious of the very fact that it can be bad business because you are going to compete with the people who are going to come… but it will be good business to do. Otherwise, we do not think that establishing a fuel station is the solution to containing smuggling.
“Are we considering doing this? Yes, as a business. Is that something that will stop smuggling? Absolutely not, because those smugglers are not looking for a fuel that you will sell.
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