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FUEL SCARCITY: Nigerian petroleum agency blames cross-border smugglers

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has attributed fuel scarcity in the country to a disruption in the product distribution chain caused by activities of cross-border smugglers.Information Guide Nigeria

According to PREMIUM TIMES, this was disclosed in a statement on Friday,

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NMDPRA said, “the current distribution hitch is heightened by activities of cross-border smugglers, who divert PMS meant for the Nigerian market to neighbouring countries where PMS prices are significantly higher than Nigeria’s regulated price.

It claimed that there is petroleum motor spirit (PMS) sufficiency of over 1.6 billion litres as of 26 January both on land and marine.

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The agency also revealed that it is engaging and collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service to address this issue.

“The price arbitrage between Nigeria and neighbouring countries has continued to grow due to inflation and the regional impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the global energy value chain including international freight rates and coastal vessels charter rates.JAMB portal

“We wish to bring to the public knowledge that the ongoing government effort to rehabilitate strategic Nigerian roads ahead of the rainy season has necessitated the rerouting of tanker trucks conveying petroleum products to alternative roads, therefore increasing transit time and associated cost of product transportation.”NYSC portal

According to NMDPRA, the NNPC and key stakeholders have put various measures in place to address the issues.

PREMIUM TIMES reports that some of the measures include modest adjustments in the cost of product transportation to cater for the impact of high AGO prices on transporters, while making special provisions of diesel to marketers at a reduced price. Similarly, it agreed on automation of products sales interface and emplacement of a monitoring system in collaboration with government security agencies for the distribution of products to retail outlets.

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NMDPRA agreed on “extended operating hours both at the loading depots and some selected filling stations” as well as “rehabilitation of critical fuel distribution road network through the federal government’s tax credit scheme by the NNPC.”

It has also reinforced its monitoring teams and appropriate sanctions to checkmate the activities of erring marketers who are distorting planned product flow to designated outlets in order to profiteer from price arbitrage.JAMB Result

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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