Consistent and deliberate diversion of Nigeria’s crude oil products to neighbouring countries such as Chad and Cameroon, is a situation that is believed to be responsible for the lingering scarcity of the product locally. For instance, in the past one-week, about 500 petrol trucks were sent to Lagos but only about half of that figure was actually offload locally. The rest? The Minister of State for Petroleum and group managing director NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu said at a Town Hall Meeting organised in Lagos were intercepted by saboteurs of federal government efforts to ameliorate the over four months-old fuel crises in the country.

According to him “a few Nigerians are benefiting at the detriment of the majority of the populace. Over 30 per cent of (fuel) supply is diverted. For example, in the last five days, we have pumped 400 trucks of product into Lagos State. The total consumption (in the state) at the maximum is 250 trucks; most of those trucks are diverted from Lagos to the hinterlands of Chad and Cameroon. “We need, literally, a whole army to stop this from happening. So, I continue to supply and over-supply and so we struggle,” Kachikwu said at the programme organised by Federal Ministry of Information

Investigation by EnergyNewsTM revealed that some petrol marketers move the product through land and waterways with the assistance of boarder-patrol security agencies to neighbouring countries where it is more profitable than back in Nigeria. In a place like Benin Republic for instance, the product is mostly sold in black market. But according to him, the government has devised a way to arrest the situation. Kachikwu told the gathering that tracking devises have been introduced on all fueling trucks in the country to monitor all trucks carrying fuel across the country.
“None of our petrol tankers have trackers, therefore any truck without a tracker will not be allowed to load fuel,” he said. The petroleum minister added “We are also working with the Police, Army, Civil Defense, and others to prevent diversion of petrol to other countries.”

Maureen Nzeogu
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