The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N17 billion for the installation of petrol tracking technology in furtherance of government’s efforts to combat the menace of oil theft and bunkering in the country.

The equipment, technically called – automated fuel system management and censor network, which would be delivered under the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), has the capacity to guarantee 100 per cent tracking and monitoring of petroleum products.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.

RMAFC
Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State, Petroleum Resources

He said: “The narrative is that we have all struggled with this whole subsidy payment; how much is consumed in Nigeria; volumes of products moved out illegally and the whole impact on Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). The president has given a very serious mandate that we ought to rein in on this process.

“The essence of what PEF is doing is that this will enable us track refined petroleum products movement from the point of LC (letter of credit) opening from the vessels that come into Nigeria, up until the point where there are discharged into tanks in Nigeria.

“It will monitor from the tanks to trucks in Nigeria; 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 this production’’, the minister added.

According to him, installation of the tracking equipment would help the country know how much petroleum products are produced or imported and consumed for the first time.

He explained further that there had 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 18 million liters a day, adding that the president had challenged him to ascertain what in reality, Nigeria consumed and where the products were going.

Although the project will take three years, the minister assured that once completed, the effect will be plausible as it can track any petrol-conveying vehicle.

The minister said: “Obviously, you need time to train and to continue to improve the system. We hope that by the time we start doing the 2020 budget in 2019, we would have gotten to a point where lot of the losses that you are seeing are tracked and substantial impact will be made in monies that come into the federation accounts.

“It will help us keep proper data repository of consumption in this country, destruction; data on all trucks that operate total number of products received and what is sold out of filling stations.

“It is going to a collaborative system that involves NNPC, Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR) and Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) but situated in PEF’’, Kachikwu added.