Indigenous ship owners and oil traders in Nigeria are currently trading accusation as to who is the most liable culprit in the mass adulteration of Automated Gas Oil (AGO), otherwise known as diesel
This exchange followed a statement that was made in Lagos last week by the Chairman of the Indigenous Shipowners’ Association of Nigeria (ISAN) Chief Isaac Jolapamo that Nigerian oil traders are collaborators in the adulteration of AGO with Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK)
Jolapamo who was briefing the maritime journalists said that the petroleum marketers get the DPK through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at a subsidised price, and that instead of distributing to Nigerians, the marketers through the collaboration of oil traders take large portion of the product to mix with diesel which is currently deregulated in order to get a larger quantity.
"Nobody imports DPK into this country except the government through the NNPC, the DPK is being used by oil marketers to make billions of Naira, it is sold in the market for N50 per litre, but I don’t know if anybody can get it to buy at that price, people are given the allocation in large number and they just take peanut out of it to sell at N50 and then take 90percent to go and blend with AGO to make so much money" Jolapamo alleged.
He added that, "what we are getting now is that everybody wants to be an oil trader, I think government can look into the menace by looking into what people in the trade are doing, we know that many waters have passed under the bridge, but it is time now to check and streamline it".
Jolapamo also reiterated that the product belongs to Nigerians because it was imported with everybody's money and it was subsidised.
But speaking with Shipping Position Daily in a swift reaction to the allegation, National Secretary of the Marine Oil Traders Association of Nigeria (MOTAN) Dr. Martins Enebeli faulted Chief Jolapamo saying that the allegations are unfounded.
Enebeli who spoke with our correspondent via telephone said that adulterating AGO with DPK is totally impossible because the profit margin is not worth it. He said that his association is not in anyway related to the allegation even as he challenged the ISAN chief to be specific when making such pronouncement in the future.
"I hate it when people talk from the two sides of their mouth, mixing DPK to get more AGO is totally a waste of time and I don’t believe anybody will even want to do it, you have to look at the profit margin and the logistics of doing such, it is totally a waste of time", he stated.
He advised that the ship owners should report anybody suspected to be engaging in such practice to the relevant regulatory agencies so that they can in turn apprehend the perpetrators.