Home Latest Insights | News Dangote Oil & Gas VP Accuses NMDPRA of Licensing “Dirty” Fuel Imports into Nigeria

Dangote Oil & Gas VP Accuses NMDPRA of Licensing “Dirty” Fuel Imports into Nigeria

Dangote Oil & Gas VP Accuses NMDPRA of Licensing “Dirty” Fuel Imports into Nigeria

Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, has raised concerns over the indiscriminate licensing practices of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

According to him, these practices are facilitating the importation of substandard diesel and jet fuel into Nigeria. Edwin voiced these concerns during a one-day training program for Energy Editors organized by the Dangote Group.

This coincides with the disclosure that NMDPRA had issued a license to import petrol into the country to 56 oil marketing companies. Chief Executive Officer of NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, said that 10 of the 56 firms have shown commitment to supply products from July to September.

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Edwin disclosed that the NMDPRA’s current licensing strategy permits traders to import refined products that fail to meet international standards and have been banned in other countries. He specifically pointed out that high-sulfur diesel from Russia is being brought into Nigeria, despite the efforts of Dangote Industries to produce diesel that adheres to ECOWAS standards.

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

He further explained that following the imposition of a price cap on Russian petroleum products by the US and UK, these products are now being offloaded in Nigeria.

Health and Environmental Concerns

The importation of such low-quality fuels has raised alarm in Europe due to their carcinogenic effects. Edwin mentioned that countries like Belgium and the Netherlands have recently banned the export of high-sulfur diesel to West Africa to protect public health.

“In fact, some of the European countries were so alarmed about the carcinogenic effect of the extra high sulfur diesel being dumped into the Nigerian market that countries like Belgium and the Netherlands imposed a ban on such fuel being exported from their country, into West Africa, recently,” Edwin noted.

The Vice President contrasted these practices with Dangote’s adherence to international oil standards, which has allowed the company to export its refined products to foreign markets. He expressed frustration that the NMDPRA’s licensing decisions undermine the refinery’s commitment to maintaining high-quality standards.

“The decision of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in granting licenses indiscriminately for the importation of dirty diesel and aviation fuel has made the Dangote refinery expand into foreign markets. The refinery has recently exported diesel and aviation fuel to Europe and other parts of the world,” Edwin said.

He added that these indiscriminate licenses frustrate the refinery’s efforts to adhere to standard quality.

Business mogul and President of Dangote Refinery, Aliko Dangote, has echoed similar sentiments about the challenges facing his refinery. He has repeatedly stated that local and international oil organizations are attempting to sabotage his operations. Dangote has described these organizations as an “oil mafia,” more dangerous than the drug mafia, in their efforts to obstruct his refinery’s progress.

The Dangote refinery, with a capacity of 600,000 barrels per day, is set to disrupt the oil import market in Nigeria and across Africa. Once fully operational, it is expected to eliminate the continent’s dependency on imported refined products from Europe and the United States.

The refinery is the largest in both Africa and Europe, and its full operation next year is anticipated to significantly shift the dynamics of the oil and gas industry in the region.

The controversies surrounding fuel quality and licensing practices in Nigeria highlight the ongoing challenges in the country’s oil and gas sector. The Dangote Group’s commitment to international standards and its expansion into foreign markets underscore the potential for Nigerian refineries to compete globally.

However, the concerns raised by Edwin suggest that regulatory practices need to be re-evaluated to ensure that they support rather than hinder the development of a robust and sustainable energy sector in Nigeria.

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