Oil Refiners Back Senate’s Probe of Dirty Fuels Import, Want End to Unfair Trade

Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The Crude Oil Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria (CORAN) yesterday backed the decision of the Senate to institute a probe into the importation of alleged substandard and harmful diesel and other petroleum products into Nigeria.
Reacting to the deliberation by the federal lawmakers during the week, Chairman of CORAN, Mr. Momoh Oyarekhua, said it was a welcome development that calls for commendation.

Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong during the week had called the Senate’s attention to the continued importation of substandard petroleum products and dumping of hazardous diesel into Nigeria.
He observed that on June 16, 2024, 12 diesel cargos containing a total of 660KT of diesel were exported by foreign refineries to offshore Lome, Togo, for further distribution in West Africa, the main target being Nigeria.

Ekpenyong argued that the quality of the diesel was below the Nigerian standard in terms of sulphur levels and that despite the substandard nature of the diesel, it still found its way into the Nigerian market.

Supporting the motion, the lawmaker representing Edo North senatorial district, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, said having read through the motion, there were saboteurs all over the country who are appointees of government and are determined to sabotage the efforts of the government.
He decried the continued issuance of import licences despite sufficient local refining capacity.

But reacting to the decision of the Senate to intervene, Oyarekhua said the pronouncement of the Senate was in tandem with the demands of the refinery owners association.

He said that CORAN members had suffered hardship due to many obstacles, with many installed modular refineries unable to find sufficient feedstock to meet production capacity.

“We will be happy to see the outcome of the Senate investigation and we thank the distinguished senators for showing interest in this matter. We believe that with collective engagements such as this between the legislature and the executive, involving all stakeholders, these troubling issues can be resolved and on time before things gets worse than it is currently,” Oyarekhua stated.

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