The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari has revealed that NNPC is in talks with the Republic of Niger to set up petroleum retail outlets in the country.
The GMD revealed this on Wednesday at the interactive session on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
It would be recalled that the Controller General of Customs, Hammed Ali had informed the committee that he suggested the idea of setting up retail outlets in neighbouring countries to end smuggling.
At the hearing, the Chairman of the Committee, James Faleke had referred to the statement made by the CGC.
“The Comptroller-General (CG) of Customs was here and he said that at different fora he had suggested that possibly to curb smuggling, NNPC should liaise with, and establish filling stations across our border countries, and possibly sell at a higher margin to cover the cost.
Kyari responded that “As a matter of fact, we have thought of this, we are already engaging the national oil company of Niger, in particular, to establish NNPC retail fuel stations in the country but we are also cautious of the very fact that it can be bad business because you are going to compete with the people who are going to come—but will be good business to do. Otherwise, we do not think that establishing fuel stations is the solution to containing smuggling.”
“I have also seen the recommendation by the elder brother, the CG of customs that we should go and establish fuel stations across our borders to contain smuggling.
“The people who are smuggling are not looking for the official price for petroleum product, unfortunately. So when you go ahead across the countries and establish fuel stations, except you are going to sell it at 162, then everybody will come to you. So as long as you are going to sell it at the market — It is the same reason that is bringing them here to smuggle.”