Senate decries importation of substandard fuel into Nigeria

Akpabio, senate president.
Akpabio, senate president
Senate decries importation of substandard fuel into Nigeria

The Nigerian Senate, on Wednesday, raised an urgent alarm concerning the influx of substandard Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), commonly known as petrol and diesel, into the country.

During a matter of urgent national importance, Senator Asuquo Ekpeyong revealed a concerning report dated June 16, 2024.

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The report indicated that 12 diesel cargoes, carrying a total of 660 kilotons of diesel, were exported by refineries to offshore Lome, Togo, intended for distribution primarily in the Nigerian market.

Ekpeyong highlighted that the quality of this diesel was below Nigerian standards, particularly regarding flash and sulfur levels.

Despite the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) revising diesel importation standards to align with the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021, Ekpeyong noted that the NMDPRA has failed to enforce compliance effectively.

He stated, “The NMDPRA continues to issue import licenses for diesel and jet fuel despite sufficient local production capacity.”

The Senate responded by establishing an ad-hoc committee to investigate the ongoing importation of hazardous petroleum products and the dumping of substandard diesel in Nigeria.

Lawmakers expressed their outrage, describing the situation as sabotage and a clear failure to meet the objectives of the Petroleum Industry Act. They asserted that those responsible must face legal consequences.

Supporting the urgency of the matter, Senate President Godswill Akpabio emphasized the need to review the issues raised within the PIA, stating, “This is not about witch-hunting anyone, but about setting the records straight.”

The ad-hoc committee, chaired by the Senate leader, has been given three weeks to conduct its investigation and report back to the house.

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