In a bid to ensure transparency in petroleum consumption and distribution, a team of 89 persons has been inaugurated by the Federal Government under the code – “Operation White.” The team has been tasked to track fuel consumption in the country.
The initiative was launched by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva at a brief ceremony held at the NNPC Towers in Abuja yesterday. Timipre said the team’s focus is to authenticate the actual volume of products imported and consumed in the country, thereby maintaining a level of energy security.
Why this matters: Concerns have been raised on fuel smuggling. Samson Makoji, who is an acting spokesman of the NNPC, said this new initiative would stem the tide of smuggling by unscrupulous operators and aid infrastructure development through savings realized from the programme.
He noted that the daily consumption of petrol had dipped from 60 million litres per day to 52 million litres per day, owing to the border closure.
The Team Members: Members of the team were drawn from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) as well as the Department of State Security (DSS).
Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, charged the team to ensure they deliver on the national assignment of controlling leakages of petroleum products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), adding that they have no option but to succeed.
What the team would do: Operation White is expected to monitor and track every molecule of petroleum products imported into the country and follow it through to the pump, according to Kyari. He added the NNPC was fully on board with this plan, as well as the Federal Government.
“The selection of ‘Operation White’ team was very thorough and people of great competence and high level of integrity were head-hunted for this national assignment. Today, we are good to go and we will see our transaction end-to-end as is the case in other countries. We are poised to support the minister to ensure that energy security is guaranteed for our dear country so that our principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, would be proud of us,” Mallam Kyari said.
The bottom line: Recall that NNPC disclosed its decision to gain trust in the hearts of its stakeholders by publishing details of its petroleum products supplies. Could the establishment of the taskforce be the corporation’s move to gain trust in the heart of Nigerians? Or another move to hurt the income of petroleum distributors?