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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Fighting Influx Of Fake Lubricants In Nigeria

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Over $250m Spent On Base Oil Importation Yearly

THERE is an urgent need for the government of Nigeria to control the influx of fake and adulterated lubricants in the country, if the Nigerian lubricant manufacturing industry would develop and contribute reasonably to the development country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

Nigeria is said to be losing over N200 billion annually due to illegal importations and consumption of substandard lubricants by Nigerians, especially on the patronage of the roadside engine oil and other oil products in the country.

Sequel to this, stakeholders in the oil sector have expressed worries over the menace in the country and urged the Federal Government and its regulatory bodies, such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and others to take actions that would end trend.

The stakeholders, under the aegis of Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) said Nigeria loses billions of Naira to adulterated base oil, a situation that requires urgent attention from government to stem the scourge and protect the country’s lubricant manufacturing industry.

According to Lube Operations Manager, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc., Mr. Ay-obami Odetola, Nigeria is the largest importer of used cars and incurs over N100 billion on adulterated lubricants, while over N30 billion goes into treatment of respiratory infections caused by environmental hazards due to the usage of such oil across the country.

He noted that it costs the country over $250 million to import base oil on yearly basis despite the fact there was no need for the importation, saying that base oil is not treated and has water and impurity in it, which cause damage to engines and environmental pollution due to gases emission.

Speaking on the health implications of consuming adulterated oil lubricants, the Gas Manager, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Mr. Olasupo Agbaje, said “Procurement, distribution and retailing of base oil and adulteration or improperly packaged lubricants by unlicensed vendors over the years resulted in malfunctioning and damage of engines and machinery.

He expressed the optimism that a joint action of SON, Federal Government and LUPAN against the menace would stop the influx of fake lubricants in the country, adding that a campaign to sensitise the masses on the consequences of using adulterated oil is necessary to coordinate its consumption.

Meanwhile, in a recent visit to the SON’s Lagos office, a team of LUPAN, led by its Vice Chairman, Alhaji Ado Mustapha Muhammed alerted the regulatory body on the rate at which fake lubricants and other products are peddled in the Nigerian market, which he said portends danger for development of the industry.

According to him, the negative trend in the wake of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is much-touted local content agenda, which signals danger to users, the nation’s economy and could cripple the local industry if urgent steps are not taken to arrest the alarming trend.

He noted that a downward review of duty to five per cent would encourage genuine local production in the nation’s quest for industrialisation, local content propagation and self-reliance, expressing the need to stop the influx by raising the existing tariff regime on imported lubricants to 50 per cent in order to discourage importation.

Muhammed added that the association is ready to wage wars against the menace with the help of SON as its members are losing huge amount to the perpetuators.

“The mechanism to sustain the campaign has been put in place and severe sanctions would be given to offenders in the sector.”

“Though the regulatory agencies are assuring the association of better things to come but stakeholders in the Lubricant market, who are the victims of the situation are losing hope every day by day,” he lamented.

But the Director General of SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu assured the LUPAN of actions that would stem the crises, describing its Quality Summit as a child of necessity to tackle issues such as this, noting that the theme of the summit: “Less Waste, Better Results: Standards Increase Efficiency,” was borne out of the desire to clean the markets of fake products, adding that the maiden edition of the summit offered opportunities for Nigerian businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to venture into other huge market of West African sub-region and beyond.

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