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Substandard Petrol, diesel have flooded Nigeria — Senate raise alarm

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The Senate, on Wednesday, raised an alarm over the influx of substandard Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) or diesel into the Nigerian market.

In a matter of urgent national importance, Senator Asuquo Ekpeyong observed that on June 16, 2024, a report revealed that 12 diesel cargoes conveying a total of 660 kilotons of diesel, were exported by refineries to offshore Lome, Togo for further distribution to West African markets, mainly Nigeria.

According to him, the quality of the said diesel was below the Nigerian standard in terms of flash and Sulphur levels.

He further disclosed that; even though the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) recently revised the standards of diesel importation into Nigeria in line with the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021, it has been incapable of enforcing compliance with the standards.

The Senate then set up an ad-hoc committee, to launch an investigation into the continued importation of hazardous petroleum products, and dumping of substandard diesel into Nigeria.

Again Ekpeyong avered that the NMDPRA has continued to issue import licences for diesel and jet, despite sufficient local production capacity.

As the lawmakers expressed anger over what they described as sabotage and a clear failure of the objectives of the Petroleum Industry Act, the Upper Chamber asserted that those found culpable in the illicit act must face the wrath of the law.

Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has corroborated views by other lawmakers, that the issues raised within the PIA should be reviewed, not as an act of witch-hunting anyone, but to set the records straight.

The Ad-hoc committee to investigate the allegation, chaired by the Senate leader, has been given three weeks to report back to the house.

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