The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has commended the Niger State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on the eight trucks its men apprehended in Mokwa, Niger State on Tuesday.
The trucks had a combined capacity of 469,000 litres and were set on cross-border diversion to the Republic of Benin through Babana, a boarder town of about 700 kilometres from Minna.
Dr. Baru said the arrest of the trucks had vindicated NNPC’s position that the hiccups in supply and distribution of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol, had been largely triggered and sustained by the unwholesome practices of some downstream stakeholders who hoard, divert, smuggle across borders and sell products above recommended prices of N145 per litre.
The GMD urged Nigerians to remain vigilant to report unusual activities of unscrupulous individuals to the law enforcement agencies to bring the present situation under control.
It would be recalled that eight trucks laden with a total of 469,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) and their drivers were nabbed in Mokwa, Niger State, on their way to Babana on Tuesday.
Niger State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Yakubu Ayuba, who briefed the press in Minna on Wednesday, had stated that six of the trucks belong to a single marketer, adding that two of the trucks contained 66,000 litres, twice the quantity contained in a normal truck.
The Comptroller of Operations, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Engr. Abdullahi Isa who also spoke on the arrest of the eight trucks laden with petrol stated that only one truck out of the eight had a genuine waybill to a recognized station in Babana.
He told newsmen that the owners of the other trucks would have to explain their mission and destinations, stressing that if it was established that they were involved in products diversion, they would pay a fine of N200 per litre to the government.
The drivers of the trucks who are currently in the custody of the Niger State Command of the NSCDC will soon be charged to court for prosecution.