As part of efforts to curb the importation of low quality fuels into Nigeria, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has begun engagements with the petroleum authorities in Belgium and Neitherlands.
The Chief Executive of NMDPRA, Mr. Farouk Ahmed revealed this yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Oil Trading Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Week, in Lagos yesterday.
According to Farouk, Nigeria’s major oil import come from Belgium and Neitherlands, hence the Authority’s decision to engage petroleum authorities in the respective countries on the fuel specifications and standards for Nigeria.
Recall that in February this year, Nigeria was thrown into a severe petrol scarcity that lasted for weeks, with excruciating pains felt by the citizens owing to the importation of off-spec petrol by some importers.
Speaking at the event themed: “Regulating Downstream Energy Transition in Dynamic Times”, the NMDPRA boss also stated that the agency is playing its role in the deliberations for cleaner energy whilst ensuring that the downstream oil sector remained properly integrated and sustainable.
His words: “The Authority is addressing the issue of fuel quality through strategic collaboration with key stakeholders in the petroleum products value chain such as Netherland Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT), the NNPC Limited, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the NCS.”
“Of particular importance is our strategic engagements with our Netherlands and Belgian counterparts, considering that bulk of Nigeria’s petroleum products importation originates from the ARA region. Our collaboration with the NCS led to the suspension of import licenses for land border importation of petroleum products in order to eliminate sharp practices and enhance quality control.”
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Executive, National Petroleum Authority of Ghana, Dr. Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, argued that the continent needed more time to transition into new energy solutions when compared to the Western world.
He noted that several European countries have been exploring alternative energy sources for more than five decades whereas African nations have only begin such innovations in the last decade.
“The world is recently focused on the supply of cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy due to global warming and climate change implications of a human-activity-induced increase in greenhouse gas emissions. There is a planned shrinkage in global production and supply of fossil fuels and the expansion of renewable energy. Western countries are setting targets to switch to renewable energy by the year 2030,” he said.
Noting that 2060 -2070 will be a more realistic time for Nigeria and Ghana to attain net-zero emissions, Abdul-Hamid posited that there is a need to strike a good policy and commercial balance in the continent as Africa seeks to accelerate the exploitation of its oil and gas resources in order to fuel its industrialization and economic growth.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, Advisory Board, OTL Africa Downstream Week, Mr. Tunji Oyebanji, observed that since the COVID-19 pandemic there have been more challenges confronting the oil sector.
“More than ever before, energy transition is in focus as the world tries to clean up its energy consumption habits and companies retool to remain relevant in the changing energy dynamics. How well have countries on the continent embraced these realities? Are they even the reality of the downstream energy value chain in Africa?”
“Concurrently with issues of global energy transition, countries are also dealing with implementation of changes to legal regimes. In Nigeria for instance, the Petroleum Industry Act has come with a raft of changes, with activity across the industry largely in a flux. There’s also a great deal of uncertainty in the industry, with many questions begging for answers. It is in the context of all these that we are poised with this year’s event,” he said.
Oyebanji expressed delight that despite strong industry headwinds that have seen some organisations scale down participation, OTL Africa remained creative, bullish and consistent in leading advocacy for industry and maintaining a strong platform for individuals, brands and the industry to promote business, policy and operations.