The Nigerian National Petroleum C o r p o r a t i o n (NNPC) has declared that 80 per cent of the petrol being sold in other West African countries originated from Nigeria.
Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, who made this known during a media parley with newsmen at the weekend in Abuja, also said Nigeria alone consumes about 70 per cent of the total petroleum products in the entire West African region.
Citing an example of Niamey, where a litre of petrol was currently sold at N464, Kyari explained that the price difference as against what was obtainable in the country was due to the non-payment of tax in Nigeria, distance from location and a deliberate arbitrage.
His words: “70% of West African petroleum products consumption is Nigeria. So, all the other 13 countries in West Africa consume 30%. “Today, many of them are unable to import petroleum because they do not have the foreign exchange position to support it.
Therefore, every fuel, PMS you see in West Africa, 80% of them originate from Nigeria and you can’t stop it.
“The pump price in Niamey at a Total filling station sells at N464 per litre and today in our fuel stations with all the troubles that we have, we are at N160- N161 and the difference between the two is N300 to the litre.
“I don’t know what magic you are going to play; you have over 3,000 kilometres of border. We know the population of the security agencies that we have in this country and the resources that is available to them and with a difference of N300, I don’t see how it is practically possible to stop cross border discussions.
“For us as a national oil company, we should turn this into a trade since we can’t stop it by having a normalisation of this price. Today, we are recovering our full cost even at N161 across the border.
“We are working with our sister security agencies to convert this into a business so we can benefit from it since we don’t lose money from it.
That is why we are working on our trading and retail companies to make sure they take advantage of that market so the benefits can, at least, come back to us. We are getting optimal help and support from neighbouring countries in that regard.”
Kyari further disclosed that NNPC was the first company in the country to cut its losses within one financial year by N800 billion, as a result of its ability to take the right steps. The GMD also said despite the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, the NNPC was able to maintain its publication to the federation account for seven months without fail.
“Instead of asking for palliatives, we stood our ground to make sure we delivered to the federation account,” he said. Kyari noted that Nigeria was closer to achieving its targeted benchmark of producing 3 million barrels of oil per day, saying, “By the 17th of April this year, we reached production of 2.49 million bpd.
The last time we were anywhere close to that was 15 years ago.