80 Percent Of A/Ibom’s Petroleum Products Adulterated, Industry Regulator Warns

From Lateef Taiwo

Regulations in the downstream petroleum subsector of the Nigerian economy has warned that about eighty percent of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, alias petrol, and other petroleum products consumed in Akwa Ibom state are adulterated by illegal bunkerers operating in the sector.

Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Uyo, the state capital, Comrade Fidelis Ekanem, the South -South Secretary of the Waterways Transport Association of Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria, WTAPMAN, expressed concern about widespread unwholesome practices by oil thives, pipeline vandals and oil bunkerers, blaming them of being responsible for the frauds.

Ekanem, who led hundreds of his members on sensitization tour along the streets of Uyo, the state capital, explained that the group has secured the mandate of the state government under Governor Umo Eno, to collaborate with the Ministry of Internal Security and Waterways, and other security agencies with a view to flushing out oil sector criminals in the state.

He noted that “Akwa Ibom state has no refinery, no tank farms, oil depots and other large petroleum products reservoirs to store products that could be sufficient for the entire population given the fact that most products come from the neighbouring Calabar, Cross River state and Port Harcourt, Rivers state,” maintaining that illegal sources account for most of the products consumed in the state.”

“Akwa Ibom is not like Rivers, Delta and other states where you have all these facilities to store fuel and other petroleum products, meaning that only about 20 percent of the products come in through legal process, while about 80 percent find their way into the state through illegal processes of bunkering, pipeline vandals and oil thieves,” he stressed.

Vowing to rid Akwa Ibom creeks, waterways and major routes to the state of bandits in the sector, Ekanem, warned the oil sector thieves to vacate the state, or be ready to face the firepower of the Joint Task Force (JTF) comprising operatives of the National Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC), the regular Police and other security agencies detailed to work with WTAPMAN, in the ongoing reforms in the sector.

The sensitization campaign, which is expected to cover the 31 Local Government Areas, Ekanem, explained, aimed at preparing the mindset of industry operators and stakeholders to the upcoming onslaught against criminal elements sabotaging the nation’s economy through unwholesome practices.

He said: “We are worried by series of illegal activities by criminals in the oil sector and we are determined and ready to curb all these illegalities constituting economic sabotage.

“Our team is working with the backing of the state government and security agencies to checkmate illegal activities of waterways transport marketers of petroleum products, resist adulteration of petroleum products, oil bunkering, crude oil theft and other sharp practices in both downstream and midstream value chain of the petroleum industry.

“We will also monitor and report all forms of non compliance with terms, licences and permits and authorization issued by the authorities as well as ensure the integrity and compliance of the dispensing equipment for retail of the liquids to guarantee consumer pricing and environmental standards.”
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