PETROAN Tasks DPR to Probe Importation of Dirty Fuel
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has been tasked by the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) to investigate the importation of dirty, toxic and substandard fuel into the country from Europe by some marketers.
There was a widespread panic recently after a research by Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN) showed that black market fuel made from stolen oil in “bush” refineries in the Niger Delta was less polluting than the highly toxic diesel and petrol that Europe exports to Nigeria.
The report analysed by Business Post found that the fuel imported from Europe exceeded EU pollution limits by as much as 204 times, and by 43 times the level for gasoline, whereas artisanal fuel had a higher quality than the imported diesel and gasoline.
Making the plea, the Zonal Chairman of PETROAN in Rivers State, Mr Sunny Nkpe, said marketers are incessantly harassed by security agents over the quality of petroleum products they procure from depots.
Mr Nkpe then charged DPR to analyse the SDN’s report and make public the right specifications of quality petrol, to avoid further harassment by security operatives.
He also called on security agencies to desist from harassing the group’s members as it was not their obligation to determine the right specifications of the product, but the DPR.
“Quality of product is a concern to us because this has put our members at the mercy of various security agencies; where you load products from a private depot and security agents will just come out to harass the driver, impound the truck, claiming the spec of the product is bad and begin to give funny names to the product.
“It is very unacceptable to us. It is not our duty to determine the spec of the products, it is the duty of DPR to determine the spec of products being sold to the public.
“The specification of AGO, flashpoints and density is fluctuating, we have asked DPR to intervene and furnish us with the right spec.
“The security agencies should desist from hunting our members, confiscating and impounding our trucks,” he said.
The group also used the opportunity to note that the monthly auction of the prices of petroleum products by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) was causing retailers to lose their investments.
The Chairman explained that the inclusive deregulation of the sector will help to stabilised the price of petrol.
“The current tampering with the price of PMS has adversely affected our business. The Minister of State for Petroleum was talking about deregulation, we’d thought that was the government policy on the issue but we keep seeing PPPRA tampering with prices,” he said.