NNPC: Cheap petrol price encourages smuggling

NNPC: Cheap petrol price encourages smuggling

Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says it is very difficult to make fuel available at N145 per litre.

He made this known while speaking on Wednesday during a courtesy visit to Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, at the National Assembly Complex in Abuja.

According to Kyari, the cheap price of petrol encourages smuggling.

“The N145 per litre fuel price regime in Nigeria runs against the N350 per litre most of the other West African countries operate, encouraging smuggling,” he said.

“It is even very difficult for us to make the product available at N145.”

The NNPC GMD, who was accompanied by his predecessor, Maikanti Baru, said the corporation would work closely with the National Assembly to ensure quick passage of the bills that would encourage the growth of the oil and gas sector.

In his submissions, Baru said the visit was meant to canvass the support of the upper legislative chamberfor the quick passage of the Deep Offshore Amendment Bill which has the potential of boosting Federal Government’s revenue by about $5 billion per annum.

Shedding light on the significance of the bill, he explained that the nation had been virtually losing revenue running into billions of dollars due to delay in the review of the extant Deep Offshore Act which stipulates that the fiscal terms could be reviewed when the price of crude oil had surpassed the $20 barrel mark and production had gone on in those acreages consistently for 15 years.

He said the amendment bill proposes to raise the royalty paid on deep offshore production in order to ensure a higher revenue take for government, adding that no operator could oppose such a move as it was fair going by current market realities.