Nigeria is planning to plant tracking devices on trucks as nearly a third of the country’s fuel supply is being stolen in the midst of crippling shortages in Africa’s largest oil producer, Bloomberg reported.
About 30% of Nigeria’s refined fuel is being “diverted” and often smuggled into neighboring countries, according to Emmanuel Kachikwu, State Minister for Petroleum Resources. “We need a whole army to stop this from happening,” he said, referring to the widespread theft.
On his side, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, criticized that the Minister has said the same “several times”. “I can tell you categorically that over 80% of the tankers in Nigeria have tracking devices installed by the transporters. What he is telling us is not a new thing. It is a political statement,” he added in an interview published by The Punch.
The most severe fuel scarcity in a year in Africa’s most populous nation has left motorists paying more than double the government’s official price for gasoline and put increasing pressure on a stagnating economy that has been hit by tumbling oil prices. The national statistics office blames the shortages for contributing to an 8% drop in labor productivity in the fourth quarter.