Abuja — The federal government has set up a team comprising of 89 persons to monitor the volume of petrol imported and consumed daily in Nigeria.
The team, according to a statement from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was drawn from five key agencies comprising the corporation itself, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), and Department of State Services (DSS).
Their job, the statement, which was signed by the Acting Group General Manager Public Affairs of the NNPC, Mr. Samson Makoji, explained, would be to ensure transparency and accountability in the distribution of petroleum products across the country.
It said the team code-named 'Operation White', was inaugurated by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, who reportedly noted that they would help to authenticate the actual volume of products imported and consumed in the country and ensure that Nigeria attained energy security.
Sylva equally observed that the initiative was long overdue for the country and charged members of the team to carry out the assignment with commitment, zeal and patriotism.
He stated that he was optimistic that the operation would stem the smuggling of petroleum products by some unscrupulous operators, stressing that the savings from the exercise would support infrastructural development in the country.
He also recalled that few weeks after the closure of the country's land borders, daily petrol consumption dropped from 60 million litres to 52 million.
"I must say that I am very impressed with the caliber of the team members of 'Operation White' and (I) am not surprised because every organisation that I know is as strong as its leadership.
"The NNPC under the leadership of Mallam Mele Kyari epitomises strong leadership. (I) am happy with the enthusiasm on the faces of the members and I am sure that we will succeed," said Sylva.
Similarly, the statement quoted the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, to have charged the team to deliver on the task of controlling leakages of petroleum products, especially petrol.
He said that 'Operation White' would monitor and track every molecule of petroleum product imported into Nigeria as well as follow it through to the pump.
According to him, the NNPC was poised to support the federal government in its quest to guarantee energy security for Nigeria.
Mele Kyari equally stated that the NNPC under his leadership would continue to be transparent by ensuring that the entire operations of the oil industry remained visible to all Nigerians and all operators in line with his management's vision of Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE).
"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," said Mele Kyari.