No fewer than 27,000 filling stations may not get their operating licences renewed in a move to curb diversion of petrol in the country.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which gave the warning, said it has commenced the process of capturing all licenced filling stations on their system to enable it track lifting and disposal of products.
Speaking at a critical stakeholder engagement including the staff of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), among others, in Lagos yesterday, the director of DPR, Sariki Auwalu, said out of 33,000 registered filling stations in Nigeria only 6,700 stations have so far complied with the registration.
He warned that the remaining 27,000 stations not yet captured will have their licences withdrawn by December this year.
Explaining the rationale for the engagement, Auwalu, said increasing petroleum products diversion is becoming worrisome and that Nigeria is losing so much money and feeding her neighbours through the illegal diversions.
To this end, the DPR has come up with a homegrown technology to track genuine outlets by assigning them unique numbers to make it difficult to divert products or to under dispense.
The director also urged those operating illegally to present their facilities for capturing, as going forward, only those captured by the system can lift petrol from depots.
Similarly, marketers and industry experts are worried over the rise in the figures of petrol consumed in the country, linking it to diversion and smuggling of products, which occur around border areas.
Earlier, representative of the chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, demanded a real time report from the platform for easy tracking of marketers.
On his part, the executive secretary of PEF, Ahmed Bobboi, demanded technical collaboration among stakeholders for proper coordination.
Recently, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said smuggling across the borders increased the consumption figures of premium motor spirit, better known as petrol, to 102 million litres per day
NNPC also lamented the escalating incidence of petrol smuggling across Nigeria’s borders, which it puts at a whopping 42 million litres per day.
Executive secretary of PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, appreciated the DPR for engaging other stakeholders in the effort to rid the country of petrol diversion.
Saidu called for closer monitoring to ensure unproductive stations that still hold licenses are not used to procure products and divert same.