FG to buy N17bn equipment to track fuel distribution
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the sum of N17bn for the installation of mechanism under the Petroleum Equalisation Fund to monitor fuel distribution and eliminate subsidy fraud.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the council’s meeting presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said although the project was for three years, it would start yielding results by the time the 2020 budget would be prepared next year.
The minister explained that the device would also put to an end the conflicting figures on the nation’s actual fuel consumption per day.
He said, “The narrative is that we have all struggled with this whole subsidy payment and how much is consumed in Nigeria, volumes of products moved out illegally and the whole impact on Federation Accounts Allocation Committee.
“The essence of what PEF is doing is that this will enable us to track refined petroleum products’ movement from the point of the LC (Letter of Credit) opening from the vessels that come into Nigeria, up until the point where they are discharged into tanks in Nigeria; and from the tanks into trucks in Nigeria.
“We will also monitor the trucks till they deliver the products into the storage tanks for the filling stations and they are discharged and sold. So, that will produce a 100 per cent holistic monitoring of these products.”
With the approval, according to the minister, the government will be able to tell how much petroleum products Nigerians consume.
He said, “There has been so much going on in terms of the movement of consumption numbers from over 30 million litres a day to 70 million litres to 80 million litres a day during the difficult times. And the challenge the President has given me is to rein that in. Let us know what we consume in reality; let us know where these products are going and this process will be able to track every truck.
“So, a typical truck will be licensed with a driver, with a transport company; so, if a truck misses, you can find the transporter and the company that takes responsibility. We expect this to be over a period of three years but we promise that within one year, the real effects of this will begin to show.”
Kachikwu said the council also approved the revision of contract for the construction of the Nigerian Content Development Management Board in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State from N27bn to N42bn. The contract was awarded initially in 2015.
The minister said, “The reason for this increase was largely due to foreign exchange variables determinant which was initially about N157 to a dollar but today it is N305 to a dollar.
“The whole idea is for the contract to be completed. It is a 24-month contract and has fairly gone far. We hope that once that is done, the NCDMB will stop paying rent on the series of buildings that it rented in Yenagoa.”
The council also approved over N12bn for the execution of ecological projects across the country.