Abuja - A report by Swiss watchdog group, Public Eye, has exposed how Swiss trading companies are blending and dumping dirty fuel in Nigeria and other West African countries because of weak regulations.
The report titled “Dirty Diesel” stated that the companies are taking advantage of weak African regulatory standards to use cheap and dirty additives to create what’s called “African Quality” fuels.
The report quotes Swiss trading giants, Oryx, Trafigura and Vitol as noting that the blends met standards in the importing countries, with the largest amounts going to Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana.
Public Eye however accused the companies of lowering a fuel’s quality to just above a country’s legal limits to maximise profits by adding toxic products known to cause respiratory diseases.
The report stated that there are still several African countries that allow diesel to have a sulphur content of more than 2,000 parts per million (ppm), with some allowing more than 5 000ppm, whereas the European standard is less than 10ppm.
Reacting to the report, the deputy director, public affairs at the Department of Petroleum Resources, Dorothy Bassey told Daily Sun that there is no cause for alarm, adding that all petroleum products are tested before entering Nigeria.
She stated that any product or products that fail the specification test are sent back to the country of origin.
“But if by error of omission or commission any product/s that fall short of the required specification find their way into the country, the importer of such products will be severely sanctioned,’’ she said.
On his part, the NNPC spokesman, Mohammed Garbadeen, said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation will not deliberately import toxic fuel into the country.