Reps to deploy satellites to locate smuggling of petroleum products across border

The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has disclosed that it will be using the resources of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited, to locate the 40million litres of crude oil smuggled out of the country daily.

The Chairman of the Committee, James Faleke, disclosed to journalists on Monday that the committee has resolved to invite the NICOMSAT to supply the committee with satellite images to locate the movement of trucks across the border.

It could be recalled that the Controller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hammed Ali, had blamed both the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Department of Petroleum Resources for the smuggling.

“If about 40million litres of PMS is being smuggled out per day, the question is, how many trucks of 33,000 litres do we need to convey this volume out of the country? When we did small arithmetic, we discovered that we will need 1,000 trucks. If it is true that the volume goes out of the country, it means 1000 trucks go out to neighbouring countries and they come back to load again.

“Satellite images should have captured these trailers. We have invited NICOMSAT. DPR is saying about 48million, contrary to the number being circulated by the NNPC,” Faleke said.

Bashir Sodeeq, the Head of Downstream of the DPR, said contrary to the claim by CG Ali, the filling stations along the border only get less than 3% of the daily consumed PMS.

To continue the investigation, the NNPC has been invited to appear before the committee on Wednesday.