Nigerian oil regulator beefs up monitoring teams to block diversion of PMS to neighboring countries

…says there are 1.6 billion liters of PMS available for distribution

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) have tightened controls on petroleum products to curb the diversion of products to neighboring countries by rogue traders.

The new measure was necessitated by fuel shortages that have affected some major cities and resulted in the exploitation of Nigerians by vendors selling PMS for up to N350 against the approved pump price of N192.

On Tuesday, NMPDRA said the shortage was not due to a lack of product availability, as there were currently more than 1.6 billion liters of PMS in stock. He attributed the shortage to the activities of traders diverting PMS to other countries where prices are more attractive.

“Nigerians that there is a PMS sufficiency of more than 1.6 billion liters as of January 26, 2023, both on land and at sea. In addition, NNPC has made a firm commitment to supply more volume of PMS in the coming months to ensure national energy security and nationwide availability at the government regulated price.

“The current distribution problem is compounded by the activities of cross-border smugglers, who divert PMS destined for the Nigerian market to neighboring countries where PMS prices are significantly higher than the Nigerian regulated price. We are engaged and collaborating with the Nigerian Customs Service to address this issue.

“We have strengthened our monitoring teams and appropriate sanctions have been put in place to control the activities of traders who are distorting our planned product flow to designated outlets to benefit from price arbitrage. As a medium to long-term measure, cost-effective means of transportation are being implemented, including Autogas conversions and pipeline rehabilitation,” the agency said in a statement.

The regulator added that price arbitrage between Nigeria and neighboring 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 tariffs. chartering of coastal vessels.

The ongoing rehabilitation of major routes is said to have affected the movement of tankers as well.

“We want the public to know that the ongoing government effort to rehabilitate Nigeria’s strategic roads ahead of the rainy season has required rerouting of tankers carrying petroleum products to alternative roads, increasing the time of transit and the associated cost of transporting the product,” NMPDRA said. .

According to the regulator, it has taken new measures to deal with the shortage of petroleum products.

The measures include, “Modest adjustment in the cost of transporting the product to address the impact of the high AGO price on carriers, while making a special provision of diesel to traders at a reduced price. Automation of the product sales interface.

“Placement of a monitoring system in collaboration with government security agencies for the distribution of products to points of sale. Extension of operating hours both in cargo depots and in some selected filing stations. Rehabilitation of the critical fuel distribution road network through the Federal Government tax credit scheme by the NNPC and the usual commitments of the interested parties”.

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