By Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Illegally refined kerosene has flooded various markets in Delta State cushioning the effect of high prices of the commodity from the Nigerian national Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)
THISDAY checks, spanning over a week, revealed that the Kerosene, products from the illegal refineries in the creeks of Warri South West, Warri South and Warri North appears yellowish with an offensive odour.
Investigations revealed that the product sells for N250 as against between N300 and N350 from the NNPC thereby attracting more patronage from consumers.
Madam Ejiro (surname withheld) told THISDAY that she sourced the product from the creeks and confirmed that it was product of the illegal refineries. She however disclosed that most of her customers preferred the product to the government own because it was very cheap and affordable.
“I sell kerosene from both the illegal refineries and that of the NNPC. It depends on your purchasing power. Most of my customers prefer the yellow one from the illegal refineries because it doesn’t cost much”, she said.
THISDAY investigations further revealed that the kerosene products from the illegal refineries were being tested by smart marketers mostly women on retail business to guard against explosions at various homes of the users.
It was gathered that at the point of purchase, the marketers will spill small quantity on the floor and strike matches to test whether it will catch fire.
“What we do is to splash small quantity on the floor and scratch matches, if it catches fire then we will not buy. It shows that that product is bad and dangerous. But if it doesn’t catch fire, it means it is good for house use. So there is no fear of kerosene explosion”, nother marketer, Erasmus that brings the products from the creeks said in an attempt to convince our Correspondent to purchase large quantity of Kerosene from him.
Efforts to confirm reasons for the availability of illegally refined products on the streets could not be established other than claims by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS Delta) to have destroyed about 4000 metric tons of crude and illegally refined diesel in the past one week.
The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Central Naval Command (CNC), Rear Admiral Mohammed Garba, said yesterday that not less than 42 illegal refining camps, about 3,000 metric tons of suspected stolen crude oil and 1,000 metric tons of illegally refined diesel oil, were destroyed during an operation.