Friday, July 19, 2024

Senate Alerts on Influx of Substandard Fuel in Nigeria

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The Nigerian Senate has raised concerns about the widespread presence of substandard Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) and Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) in the market.

Senator Asuquo Ekpeyong brought this issue to light, noting a June 16, 2024 report revealing that 12 diesel cargoes, totaling 660 kilotons, were exported by refineries to offshore Lome, Togo, for further distribution mainly to Nigeria and other West African markets. Ekpeyong highlighted that the diesel’s quality did not meet Nigerian standards regarding flash and sulfur levels.

Despite the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) revising diesel import standards under the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, Ekpeyong pointed out that the agency has struggled to enforce compliance. He emphasized that the NMDPRA continues to issue import licenses for diesel and jet fuel, despite adequate local production capacity.

The Senate has responded by forming an ad-hoc committee to investigate the ongoing importation of substandard petroleum products and the dumping of substandard diesel in Nigeria. Lawmakers expressed frustration, describing the situation as sabotage and a failure to meet the PIA’s objectives, and stressed that those responsible should face legal consequences.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio supported the call for a review of the PIA, stating it is necessary to ensure clarity and effectiveness, not as a means of targeting individuals.

The investigation committee, chaired by the Senate leader, has been given three weeks to report back to the Senate.

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