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NMDPRA Denies Importing Dirty Fuel Into Nigeria

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has denied the claim made by the leadership of Dangote Refinery that there is imported dirty fuel in the country.

The Authority stated that It would never encourage the importation of dirty fuel into the country and ensures that only quality petroleum products are consumed by Nigerians.

Mr. Ogbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, made this known while speaking with newsmen after a meeting with oil marketers and local refiners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals had accused the Authority of granting licenses to oil marketers to import dirty fuel into the country.

The Vice President, Oil and Gas, at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, had accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria of doing everything to frustrate the survival of Dangote Refinery.

What NMDPRA is saying

While addressing newsmen in Abuja, Ukoha stated that the sulphur content in the fuel, even in June, was not above the lawful limit.

“There is no dirty fuel being brought in and I have given you the statistics for June.

“What we have on the average from the imports have continued to go down from 200 Parts Per Million (PPM) on the average and now we have it far below the 50 PPM that is provided under the law,” he said.

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He recalled that In 2020, the ECOWAS Heads of State endorsed a declaration adopting the African Fuel Roadmap, which requires certain products to have a minimum of 50 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur.

The Executive Director stated that while the treaty encouraged almost immediate enforcement of this standard on imports, it deferred enforcement for local refiners until December 31, 2024.

According to him, although the enforcement time for local refineries is not yet due, the plants are complying voluntarily.

“And with the refineries there is no need to enforce that until the end of this year. But they themselves are already taking steps to see that is also guaranteed,” he said.

Ukoha noted that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in 2021, Section 318 also captured and upheld the ECOWAS treaty.

“So as an Authority what have we done since we came into being? We started by engendering compliance. We saw a downward trend up to 2022-2023 December,” he added.

Backstory

Earlier on Monday, media reported that the Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, said the indiscriminate licensing by NMDPRA to traders is aiding the importation of “dirty” diesel and jet fuel into the country.

According to Edwin, despite Dangote’s effort to meet ECOWAS standards, the authority gives license to traders to import high-sulfur petrol from Russia into the country.

He explained that since the US and UK have issued a cap on Russia’s petroleum products, these products are now dumped in Nigeria’s market by various traders.

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“In spite of the fact that we are producing and bringing out diesel into the market, complying with ECOWAS regulations and standards, licences are being issued, in large quantities, to traders who are buying the extremely high sulphur diesel from Russia and dumping it in the Nigerian Market,” Edwin said.

Source: nairametrics

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