The volume of petroleum products loaded and trucked out from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation fuel depots reduced drastically in the wake of the recent partial closure of the Nigerian borders with Benin Republic, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has reported. In a monitoring report, the petroleum products pricing regulatory agency said it observed a declining trend in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol since the federal government announced the partial closure of the country’s borders.
The border closure was ordered the Federal Government as part of efforts to curb across the border smuggling of rice and other commodities into the country.
A statement by the PPPRA spokesperson, Kimchi Apollo, said the development points at the gradual reduction in the volume of petrol trucked out from the depots. Mr Apollo said depots and records from various depots nationwide between August 5 and 11 this year revealed about 61 million litres of petrol was loaded and trucked out by the NNPC.
The volume, the PPPRA said, represents the average daily trucked out volume before the border closure.
However, the agency said it observed from the data obtained between August 12 and 18, there was a drop of about 35 percent in the volume of PMS trucked out against the figures recorded the previous recorded.
It attributed the drop to the reduction in the volume of activities at various fuel depots during the Sallah holiday.
However, the agency said between August 19 and 25, which falls within the period the borders were partially closed, it recorded an average daily truck out of about 57 million litres, which falls below the daily average figure recorded prior to the announcement.
Similarly, it said August 26 and September 1, a total of about 371.82 million litres of petrol was trucked out, averaging a daily figure of 53million litres. This represents a decline of about 4 million litres when compared to the previous week figures.
The PPPRA said current data show that the downward trend in PMS volume loaded at the depots continued between September 2 and 8, the daily average truck out of petrol for that week was 50.22 million litres, indicating a further reduction of 2.9million litres,” the PPPRA said.
“The high truck-out volume recorded before the partial closure of the nation’s borders could be attributed to the seepage of petroleum products across the border, coupled with the widening fuel price arbitrage with neighbouring West African countries,” it added.
While the downward trend in the consumption pattern is a welcome development, the Agency assures Nigerians and other interest groups of its determination to curb the smuggling of products and ensure that petroleum products are available in the country.