Dangote Accuses International Oil Companies of Sabotaging Oil Refinery

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…Laments Regulator’s Approval of Licenses for Banned Dirty Diesel and Jet Fuel

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Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria of deliberately trying to undermine the Dangote Oil Refinery and Petrochemicals. Edwin claims that IOCs are obstructing the refinery’s efforts to procure local crude oil by inflating premium prices above market rates, compelling the refinery to import crude from distant countries like the United States, thus incurring high costs.

Speaking at a training program for energy editors organized by the Dangote Group, Edwin also criticized the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) for indiscriminately granting licenses to marketers to import dirty refined products. He stated, “The Federal Government issued 25 licenses to build refineries, and we are the only ones who delivered on that promise. Given our contribution, we deserve full government support. Since production began, over 3.5 billion liters, representing 90% of our output, have been exported. We call on the Federal Government and regulators to provide the necessary support to create jobs and prosperity for the nation.”

Edwin further elaborated, “While the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) is doing its best to allocate crude to us, the IOCs are intentionally thwarting our efforts to buy local crude. They either demand exorbitant premiums or claim that crude is unavailable. At times, we have paid $6 above the market price. This has forced us to reduce our output and import crude from as far as the US, increasing our production costs.”

He accused the IOCs of wanting Nigeria to remain a crude oil exporter and a refined product importer. “They are keen on exporting raw materials to their home countries, creating jobs and wealth there, and dumping expensive refined products into Nigeria, keeping us dependent on imports. This exploitation strategy has left Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa facing unemployment and poverty while creating wealth for themselves at our expense. This is exacerbated by the continued issuance of import licenses for dirty diesel, which harms the health of Nigerians exposed to carcinogenic products.”

Edwin pointed out that despite Dangote’s refinery producing diesel that complies with ECOWAS regulations, licenses are still being issued to traders importing high-sulfur diesel from Russia. “Since the US, EU, and UK imposed a price cap on Russian petroleum products in February 2023, many vessels have been waiting near Togo with high-sulfur diesel, which is being dumped into the Nigerian market.”

European countries, alarmed by the carcinogenic effects of such diesel, have banned its export to West Africa. “Belgium and the Netherlands recently imposed bans on exporting low-quality fuels with high sulfur content to West Africa. It is disheartening that Nigeria continues to grant import licenses for such dirty diesel when we have adequate refining capacity locally.”

In May, Belgium and the Netherlands adopted new quality standards to prevent the export of cheap, low-quality fuels to West Africa, aligning their standards with the European Union. Historically, fuels with high sulfur content were exported at reduced rates to countries like Nigeria, posing significant health risks.

The decision by NMDPRA to grant licenses for importing dirty diesel and jet fuel has forced the Dangote refinery to look to foreign markets. The refinery has recently exported diesel and jet fuel to Europe and other parts of the world. Edwin noted that the same industry players who fought against Dangote for lowering diesel and jet fuel prices are now facing the consequences.

Appealing to the Federal Government and the National Assembly for urgent intervention, Edwin emphasized the need for swift implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to protect Nigeria’s interests.

“Recently, Ghana banned the importation of highly contaminated diesel and PMS. It is regrettable that Nigeria continues to grant import licenses despite our capacity to produce nearly double the amount of needed products and export the surplus.

Since January 2021, ECOWAS regulations have prohibited the import of highly contaminated diesel into the region.”

Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samsonhttp://ThisDayLive.com
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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