Price disparity of Premium Motor Spirit, known as petrol , between Nigeria on one hand and Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire on the other hand.is responsible for the massive smuggling of the product to these countries , from Nigeria.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) which made this revelation through its Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Henry Ikem-Obih during a panel session at the Nigeria Oil and Gas conference in Abuja explained that ,while the pump price of PMS in Nigeria was N145 per litre, the cost in many other West African markets was between N350 to N430 per litre.
Ikem-Obih said that there is a fact, that has been established, that Nigeria’s fuel goes all the way to Ghana adding that in the last couple of years, this across-the-border smuggling of PMS still goes all the way to Mali and Burkina Faso and even up to Cote d’Ivoire.
He explained that it was one of the reasons why the NNPC has gotten involved ,saying that the trend has been so , because of the differentials between the pump price of PMS in Nigeria and what obtains in those West African markets.
The NNPC COO , noted that smugglers saw the incentive in smuggling the product from Nigeria to other locations in West Africa, but stressed that the oil firm was working hard to close up that incentive.
Ikem-Obih said, “In some of those markets, as we speak, the pump price is around N430 per litre. So if you check the difference, wherein Nigeria it is N145 per litre, and the rest of those markets, where you get it for between N350 and N430 per litre, you will realise that clearly there are some incentives.
“However, the good news is that we have seen a reduction in the volumes being smuggled. And efforts are being made to further cut down the incentive and there is a combined effort on this.”
Ikem-Obih said the NNPC had been collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service and other security agencies to address the issue and expressed hope that the smuggling of PMS from Nigeria would end soon.