The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, (PPPRA) has disclosed that the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, dropped by 10.78 million litres to 50.22 million litres per day, since the commencement of the partial closure of the country’s borders.
In a statement in Abuja, General Manager, Corporate Services of the PPPRA, Mr Kimchi Apollo, explained that the high volume of fuel supply before the closure of the border was mainly as a result of widespread smuggling of the commodity, especially with the high opportunity for arbitrage in fuel prices in neighbouring countries.
He stated that as at August 11, 2019, before the commencement of the partial closure of the borders, fuel supply across the country, stood at 61 million litres, noting that it dropped to 50.22 million as at September 8, 2019, after recording series of decline over the period of the closure.
He said, “The PPPRA has observed with keen interest the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, supply trend since the partial closure of the country’s border, as indicators point to the gradual reduction in the volume of PMS trucked out.
“According to statistics, records from various depots nationwide for 5th to 11th August 2019 stood at about 61 million litres, representing the average daily volume trucked out before the border closure.
“The Agency observed from the data obtained between the 12th and 18th August 2019, a drop of about 35 per cent in volume trucked out from the previous week, which could be attributed to the reduction of activities at various facilities during the Sallah holiday.
“However, from the 19th to 25th August 2019, which falls within the period in which the borders were partially closed, the Agency recorded an average daily truck out the figure of about 57 million litres which falls below the daily average figure for the week 5th to 11th August 2019.”
He added, “Similarly, from 26th August to 1st of September 2019, 371.82 million litres of petrol was trucked out, averaging a daily figure of 53 million litres. This represents a decline of about four million litres when compared to the previous week.
“Available data from the agency indicates that the downward trend continued from 2nd to 8th September. The daily average truck out figure for that week was 50.22 million litres, indicating a further reduction of 2.9 million litres.”
Apollo argued that the high truck-out volume recorded before the partial closure of the country’s borders could be attributed to the smuggling of petroleum products across the border, coupled with the widening fuel price arbitrage with neighbouring West African countries.
“While the downward trend in the consumption pattern is a welcome development, the Agency assures stakeholders that efforts are being made not only to curb the smuggling of products but to ensure that petroleum products are available in the country,” he said.