Nigeria is losing N80 billion daily to smugglers of petroleum products, according the Chairman of the Nigeria Shipowners Association, NISA, Capt. Niyi Labinjo.
The NISA boss, who believes the quantity of petroleum products smuggled into the country, would be greatly reduced if the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, is able to produce just half of the 1.8 million litres needed for domestic consumption daily.
He said half of the 1.8 million litres comes to down to 900,000 and if divided by 5,000 equal 108 (5,000). Should this be multiplied by N600 million, it comes down to N108 billion and a large chunk of this amount is lost daily through smuggling of the product, he said.
According to him, half of the 1.8 million litres daily national need of premium motor spirit, PMS, is smuggled into the country, even as he disclosed that most of the smuggling is done through the offshore Lome and off-shore-Benin. He said out that a 5,000 ton vessel laden with Automotive Gas Oil, AGO, costs N600 million.
Labinjo said that Nigeria could earn as N2 trillion the federal government wants to borrow to fund the 2016 budget.
He claimed that about 68 percent of foreign vessels bring in smuggled products adding that it costs the nation huge capital flight, lead to unemployment and trade in balance.