Nigeria’s Petroleum Regulator Reinforces Monitoring Teams To Block PMS Diversion To Neighbouring Countries

… Says 1.6bn Litres Of PMS Available For Distribution

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) have strengthened monitoring of petroleum products to curb diversion of the products to neighbouring countries by dishonest marketers.

The fresh measure was necessitated by the scarcity of fuel which has hit some major cities and resulted in exploitation of Nigerians by vendors who sell PMS for as high as N350 against the approved pump price of N192.

On Tuesday, NMPDRA said the scarcity was not due to unavailability of the product as there was currently over 1.6 billion liters of PMS in reserves. It attributed the scarcity to activities of marketers who divert PMS to other countries where prices are more attractive.

“Nigerians that there is PMS sufficiency of over 1.6 billion litres as of 26th January 2023 both on land and marine. NNPC has additionally made firm commitment to supply more volume of PMS for the months ahead to guarantee national energy security and nationwide availability at the government regulated price.

“The current distribution hitch is heightened by activities of cross-border smugglers, who divert PMS meant for Nigerian market to neighbouring countries where PMS prices are significantly higher than Nigeria’s regulated price. We are engaging and collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service to address this issue.

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“We have reinforced our monitoring teams and appropriate sanctions to checkmate the activities of erring marketers who are distorting our planned product flow to designated outlets in order to profiteer from price arbitrage have been emplaced. As a medium to long term measure, cost-efficient means of transportation, including Autogas conversions and pipeline rehabilitation, are being implemented,” the agency said in a statement.

The regulator added that 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.

The ongoing rehabilitation of major routes are said to have also affected the movement of tankers.

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

According to the regulator, it has adopted new measures to address the scarcity of petroleum products.

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The measures include, “Modest adjustment in the cost of product transportation to cater for the impact of high AGO price on transporters, while making special provision of diesel to marketers at a reduced price. Automation of products sales interface.

“Emplacement of a monitoring system in collaboration with government security agencies for distribution of products to retail outlets. Extended operating hours both at the loading depots and some selected filing stations. Rehabilitation of critical fuel distribution road network through Federal Government’s tax credit scheme by the NNPC and the regular stakeholders’ engagements.”

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