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Nigerian Losing N80 Billion Per Day To Petroleum Smuggling

Chairman of the Nigeria Shipowners Association (NISA) Captain Niyi Labinjo has said the country is losing N80 billion every day thanks to petroleum smuggling.
He said that according to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country needs 1.8 million litres of petroleum per day and the NNPC only supplies half, with the rest smuggled into the country.

This comes to 900,000 litres, equaling N108 billion lost every day through smuggling.
This is outside the revenue that should have been collected by the various government agencies like the NPA, NIMASA, NCS etc should these ships have berthed at the nation’s ports as the petroleum is smuggled from off-shore near Lome and Benin.
He said that the smuggling of petroleum products must be stopped because of the effect on the nation’s economy, depriving the federal budget of N2 trillion.
He said the economic crime is being committed by foreign vessels that ship in petroleum, informing their countries that they are headed for Nigeria, only for them to stop on the high seas where these products are discharged onto smaller vessels and moved into Nigeria.
Labinjo said 68% of petroleum is unaccounted for and this costs the nation huge revenue losses in terms of capital flight, cuts employment, and negatively affects the balance of trade.
He said that Nigeria does not have any control over about 200 vessels involved in the illegal trade outside the nation’s territorial waterways, which presents a serious security risk.
The retired naval officer stressed that the government must as a matter of urgency stop the smuggling of petroleum products into the country, as well as ensure that the Cabotage Law is enforced in full.

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