Indication emerged on Thursday that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is working on a template to ban importation of fuel with high sulphur content by December 31 this year.
The Corporation’s General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu, dropped the hint, saying “The issue of banning the importation of fuel, with higher volume of suplhur and other imports that contain a considerable level of harmful materials, is sacrosant. The government, through NNPC is not leaving anybody in doubt, about its readines to outlaw dirty fuels, since they are posing threats to human lives. Yes, the banning can still take place before the year runs out, at least for the sake of safety of consumers. 2017 has not ended, as it remains two or three weeks to go.”
Business Hilights recalls that NNPC had planned to ban petrol with high concentration of high sulphur content between July1, last year and last July 1 this year, but was unable to do so due to some regulatory bottlenecks.
While stressing that the ban is of great importance to the Federal Government, Ughamadu averred that the process of making Nigerians use fuel, which contains lower level of sulphur is on-going.
According to him, NNPC, the current sole importer of petroleum products is currently assessing quality control institutions like the Standards of Organisation of Nigeria(SON) on the issue to do a good job.
He said switching from fuel with higher sulphur content to lower one was global and that many countries in Europe and other continents have done so.
While recalling that the Corporation is charged with maintaining standards in the industry, especially in fuel consumption, he said the December deadline is coming to stand.
Before now, the former Minister of Environment, Ms. Amina Mohammed, had revealed that the Federal Government is working with the refineries to produce fuel with lower sulphur content in the near future, adding that the issue of enforcing the ban is of major concern to the government.
The current United Nations Deputy Secretary, recalled that several nations had before now, ended use of fuel with high sulphur content, and stressed that Nigeria cannot be an exemption.
Ghana has slashed the sulphur content in fuel to 50 ppm for imported petrol and diesel, from 1,000 ppm and 3,000 ppm.
This singular act has placed Ghana as lead in the West African sub-region in terms of environmental discipline when use of petrol is under consideration.