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Nigeria’s daily petrol consumption drops to 50m litres – PPPRA

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) on Saturday disclosed that the volume of premium motor spirit (petrol) consumed daily in Nigeria has dropped from 61 million litres to about 50.22 million litres.

The Agency has joined other government establishments and business concerns to hail the government for the ongoing military operations at various land borders aimed at checking smuggling, arms proliferation, banditry and other crimes.

PPPRA spokesman Kimchi Apollo in a statement explained that the daily truck out of petrol from various depots has remained on the downward curve since the government partially closed the borders over a month ago.

According to him, “records from various depots nationwide for August 5 to 11, 2019 stood at about 61 million litres, representing the average daily volume trucked out before the border closure”.

The Agency observed (from the data obtained between 12 and 18 August 2019) a drop of about 35% in volume trucked out from the previous week, which it said could be attributed to the reduction of activities at various facilities during the Sallah holiday.

“However, from the 19th to 25th August 2019, which falls within the period in which the borders were partially closed, the agency recorded an average daily truck out figure of about 57 million litres which falls below the daily average figure for the week 5th to 11th August 2019,” he said.

“Similarly, from 26th August to 1st of September 2019, 371.82 million litres of petrol was trucked out, averaging a daily figure of 53million litres. This represents a decline of about 4million litres when compared to the previous week.

“Available data from the agency, indicates that the downward trend continued from 2nd to 8th September. The daily average truck out figure for that week was 50.22million litres, indicating a further reduction of 2.9 million litres.”

The high truck-out volume recorded before the partial closure of the nation’s borders could be attributed to the seepage of petroleum products across the border, coupled with the widening fuel price arbitrage with neighbouring West African countries.

Apollo added that while the downward trend in the consumption pattern remains a welcome development, the Agency will sustain efforts not only to curb the smuggling of products, but to ensure that petroleum products are available in the country.

Just last week, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, tweeted that the closure of Nigeria’s borders towards the end of August this year, as well as other interventions, had helped in reducing the smuggling of petrol.

“Significant drop in PMS evacuation from fuel depots noted since August 22nd may be connected to border closure and other interventions of the security agencies aimed at curbing smuggling. We will contain smuggling of PMS,” Kyari had stated.

In July, the NNPC said that petrol was being smuggled to neighbouring Ghana due to the price disparity of petrol between Nigeria and the West African countries.

The Corporation explained that while the pump price of the product in Nigeria was N145 per litre, the cost in many other West African markets ranged between N350 to N430 per litre.

Consequently, smugglers saw the incentive in smuggling the product from Nigeria to other locations in West Africa, the porous borders excercebating the profitability of the illicit business.