You certainly must have heard of Nigeria importing dirty fuel from Europe?!.

If not, click on this link.

You see, Nigeria produces crude oil but cannot refine enough to meet local consumption.

So, it has to export the crude and import refined petroleum products.

But if it had ended there, it would not have been much of a problem. But why a preference for dirty fuel?

This fuel causes environmental pollution and damages people’s cars and electricity generators.

However, the government has started waking up to this challenge.

As a matter of fact, on December 1, 2016 in Abuja, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire agreed to ban the importation of Europe’s dirty fuels, limiting sulphur in fuels from 3,000 parts per million to 50 ppm.

The former Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, had said then that the enforcement of the ban in Nigeria would begin from July 1, 2017.

Sadly, the government failed to begin implementation.

It then set another target for December but Rainoil Managing Director, Gabriel Ogbechie said the chances of meeting the deadline are zero.

“I don’t see that happening,” Ogbechie said.

Also Read: CONFIRMED: Nigeria To Continue To Import Cheap, Dirty Fuels

The current maximum sulphur level is 1,000 ppm for gasoline and 3,000 ppm for diesel.

Ogbeche said that as long as the government caps gasoline prices, it will not opt for higher quality fuel that would cost $10 to $20 more per tonne.

“That’s an extra $300,000 to $600,000 per cargo. Is the government ready to absorb that cost? The answer today is no,” he said.

The only solution, Ogbeche believes, is for the government to deregulate fuel prices, which would enable it to increase quality without shouldering the cost.

But he noted that with elections coming in early 2019 such moves might spell doom for the Buhari administration.

“The price of petroleum products is a highly emotive issue...and the election cycle has already started,” he stated.

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