A joint committee has been inaugurated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), to tackle smuggling. There has been growing events of smuggling of petroleum products into neighbouring countries.
Reasons for the inauguration
The inauguration of the committee which took place at the Customs House, in Abuja, was attended by the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, Director of the DPR, Mr Mordecai Ladan, and the Controller General of the NCS, Col. Hammed Ali.
Speaking at the occasion, Maikanti Baru said, “The inauguration was necessary in order for the three organisations to work together and find a lasting solution towards halting the illegal sneak in of petroleum products.”
Effects of the smuggling on the economy
He further stated that the smuggling of petroleum products across the country’s borders was causing serious revenue losses, and had been rendering all efforts of the Government to make sure petroleum products are appropriately supplied across the country useless.
Baru was quoted in a report as saying, “The negative economic impact of smuggling is that it is undermining Nigeria’s economic growth as a huge amount of money is spent in terms of under-recovery. This huge loss is draining the treasury. Remember, these are monies that could be used to develop several critical sectors of the economy.”
Major duties of the committee
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, said, “the tripartite committee would monitor the activities of licensed filling stations. The team reported that some unlicensed filling stations along the border had been acknowledged as responsible for the smuggling of petroleum products. He said they will make sure such filling stations are closed, as well as tackle other means used in smuggling these products.
High rate of smuggling across the border
The Director of the DPR, Mordecai Ladan, while attributing the surge in petroleum products smuggling to high arbitrage and fault of unlicensed filling stations, said his organisation would not falter to name and shame the culprits in the nearby future.
In his statements, he said, “As the industry regulator, we are only aware of 1,900 licensed filling stations. We will, however, continue to provide more information for this joint committee to succeed.”
Briefs about the regulatory bodies – NNPC, DPR AND NCS.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), is the oil corporation through which the Federal Government of Nigeria controls and participates in the country’s petroleum industry.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), is an independent customs service under the supervision of the Nigerian Ministry of Finance, and responsible for anti-smuggling activities among other functions.
The Department of Petroleum Resources is a government regulatory agency, with a mission to ensure the sustainable development of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources across the value chain for stakeholders through effective regulation.