4,500 trucks of petrol diverted ‎during scarcity — Baru

File photo of Motorists queuing for fuel at a filling station on Queen Elizabeth Road in Ibadan, as scarcity of the commodity persists on Thursday (21/12/17). 06959/21/12/2017/Adeogodiran Timothy/BJO/NAN

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, has disclosed that up to 4,500 trucks of petrol were diverted last month during the fuel scarcity.

Mr. Baru made this disclosure while speaking before a meeting of the joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives. The meeting was organised to find a lasting solution to the fuel crisis.

He explained that the diversion of trucks of petroleum products was one of the major reasons for the recent fuel scarcity which caused many Nigerians to experience a bleak holiday.

“We noticed in the data analysis that up to 4,500 trucks did not complete the ‘acquilla process’.”

Explaining the acquilla process, Mr. Baru said that it is a process which requires that a tanker returns to the ‘loading point’ after it has discharged it’s cargo to a particular filling station, for verification that the products had reached the destination.

“Up to 4,500 trucks of products were diverted. We are not just saying this, we have proof. These 4,500 trucks that did not return, are believed to have been diverted. And investigations are ongoing to know if they have really been diverted”, he added.

He said ”a rumour in the media” of an impending hike in pump price also contributed to the scarcity.

“There was a frenzy in terms of moving products to the major consumption centres (which) were taken away to be sold at a different price. We tackled that by reassuring Nigerians that there is sufficient supply and there is no issue concerning the increase in price of fuel, the DPR have not made any announcement and we have not been directed by the Federal Government to increase the price of fuel.

“PENGASSAN decided to announce a strike action from the 18th of December which led to panic buying. People with more than one car came out to fill all the cars and some even bought in jerry cans to save for the future,” he said.

Speaking on actions taken to resolve the scarcity, the GMD explained that the NNPC has increased its surveillance in partnership with DPR and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“We directed 24 hours operation in all depots to ensure 24 hours loading of products. NNPC, in response to the crisis, brought in six extra cargoes, 300 million litres, as additional imports to increase sufficiency. We have re-activated and re-streamed the Kaduna and Port-Harcourt refineries. Kaduna has been contributing 3.25 million barrels per day and Port-Harcourt contributes 3 million,” he said.

While sympathising with Nigerians over the discomfort experienced during Yuletide, Mr. Baru said the queues “have disappeared from the filling stations in Abuja for about a week now and in Lagos for over 10 days.”

He further explained that Nigerians consume between 27 and 35 million litres of PMS per day, adding that due to ”massive diversion, hoarding, panic buying and smuggling, coupled with information that three DSDP consortia had rejected October cargoes, there was insinuation of a supply gap.”

“Our surrounding countries are selling for not less than N300 and above. Countries like Cameroon sell for N407. That large price differential, N145 to N400, is a large prospect for smugglers”, he said.

He said there were complaints that the Independent Petroleum Marketing Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) charged N133.28 per litre, ‘although there was no evidence.”

“If any member of IPMAN or DAPPMA was caught, they would have been sanctioned and their licences seized.

“PTD and NARTO also complain that they have aged trucks, high duty tariffs on spare parts as well as bad roads and unions complain of shortage of manpower and outstanding payments,” he said.

He recommended a continuous application of sanctions on erring marketers and sustenance of vigilance by regulators.

Fuel scarcity ravaged parts of Nigeria during Yuletide putting a pall on the annual celebrations. Although it has largely abated, there are still reports of crisis in supply and hike in prices in some states across the federation.

In some states, many filling stations that have the product still sell at over N200 per litre, contrary to the N145 per litre official price.


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  • thusspokez

    “Up to 4,500 trucks of products were diverted. We are not just saying this, we have proof. These 4,500 trucks that did not return, are believed to have been diverted. And investigations are ongoing to know if they have really been diverted”, he added.

    On solution to this problem is to have all trucks in Nigeria fitted with global positioning system (GPS) tracking so that they can be tracked by a government agency. This will enable trucks diverting fuel or smuggling goods to be tracked easily.

    Nigeria’s existing satellite systems can facilitate the process. Also the recent agreement with China to built $550 million satellites for Nigeria will provide more capacity for tracking lorries in the future .

    • Patriot01

      very proactive suggestion.

    • Daniel

      Have you worked in logistics before ? Do you know what it takes to track 4500 which is less than 20percent of our monthly consumption?
      Let’s even assume that is remotely possible how to you tackle issue like cargo transfers?
      What we need is more investment in local refinery with a view to total deregulation such that crude oil is yhe same price in nigeria and its neighbours . We should also focus on gas and electricity generation which will help reduce dependency on petrol.also significant investment in our railway to help and finally channelling subsidies through tax and social services

      • thusspokez

        Have you worked in logistics before?

        You must be a Nigerian!

    • William Norris

      As long as there’s profit to be made through diversion and other forms of cheating, NOTHING, NOT EVEN THE DEATH PENALTY, can stop it.

      The ONLY solution is COMPLETE privatization & deregulation of the entire ENERGY sector.

      • thusspokez

        The ONLY solution is COMPLETE privatization & deregulation of the entire ENERGY sector.

        How is this a response to my comment? Would privatization and deregulation stop the diversion and stealing of fuel?

        • William Norris

          Yes it will.

          If you don’t understand how then you haven’t thought about these issues in detail. I suggest you do that before inflicting your opinion on the public.

          • thusspokez

            “Yes it will” is not an answer, but a conclusion. Provide your reasoning and logic to this conclusion, and let readers examine its validity.

          • William Norris

            I’ve explained it multiple times on these boards.

            It’s SIMPLE…The only reason fuel is smuggled from Nigeria to Benin Republic is the PRICE DIFFERENCE, NOTHING else.

            The price difference exists because the Federal Government enforces a LOWER PRICE inside Nigeria.

            If the FG stops enforcing that price, it is called deregulation. Prices in Nigeria may actually RISE to meet the levels in Benin, Cameroon etc. That means there will be no reason to smuggle fuel to Benin Republic because it will no longer be profitable.

            Those higher prices will mean more tax revenue for the Fed Govt.

            I urge you to research the topic or read my comments.

          • thusspokez

            You are not making any sense. What stops the smugglers from seeking other African countries with comparative higher fuel price to smuggle to? Your argument falls part when we also consider the smuggling of rice to the aforementioned countries.

            Those higher prices will mean more tax revenue for the Fed Govt.

            (Granted that no country can truly eliminate smuggling) Your solution to reducing fuel smuggling is to hike the price for local Nigerian consumers?

            So if the smugglers could find another African country where they could sell their smuggled fuel for (say) 1000% what local Nigerians are paying for it, then the Nigerian government should increase the local price by 1000%, to prevent smuggling? Can you see how ridiculous you sound?

            I urge you to research the topic or read my comments.

            You don’t know how funny you sound when, despite an inability to think, coupled with ignorance, some of you Nigerians are always quick to tell other people (often with far superior education and intelligence) to “go to school” or “research the topic”.
            Yet it is you who is not thinking before commenting, otherwise you would see the weakness in your argument before your readers do.

          • William Norris

            I never mentioned anywhere that I want or that government should increase the price of petrol. I simply advocated for DEREGULATION, as in NO GOVERNMENT ROLE in setting price.

            If you can’t even read and comprehend what I’m writing, what’s the point of our discussion?

            OK, you win.

            Thanks and have a good night.

  • Bishop Fidel Obi Boateng

    Some political criminals Just put up some líes out in the Media and Nigerians are falling on each other in the name of media discussion. Pls wake up Nigerians!

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  • JasV

    Incompetency of the highest order. Did you say the name is Baru? Sounds more like Barren “empty” to me