Every single day, Nigeria loses 774 million naira to fuel smuggling.

The smugglers buy fuel from Nigeria and smuggle across the border to sell to consumers in neighbouring countries of Benin Republic, Cameroon, Niger Republic, Chad, Togo and even Ghana.

The activities of the smugglers are milking Nigeria dry and frustrating the government’s efforts to keep the supply of the product steady in Nigeria.

It is also making it increasingly difficult to keep the price pegged at 145-naira per litre.

This is a complicated case because the government has decided to subsidise fuel cost thus making the business of fuel marketing no longer as profitable in Nigeria to independent marketers.

So, they have now decided to take their business to neighbouring countries while maintaining their bases at border towns.

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The NNPC in conjunction with Nigeria Customs decided to carry out an investigation on the trend and found out that fuel stations – hundreds of them - are springing up across Nigeria’s border towns.  

So, when NNPC releases products to these marketers, they ferry them to the border towns, from where smugglers supply to neighbouring countries.

This has led to abnormal surge in the evacuation of petrol from less than 35 million litres per day to more than 60 milion litres per day which, according to NNPC is in sharp contrast with established national consumption pattern.

The implication is persistent scarcity across Nigerian cities, and NNPC seems almost helpless. Somehow, it believes that unless price is raised, this trend is likely to continue.

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