Nigeria Mandates Lube Monitoring

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Nigeria Mandates Lube Monitoring
© Suwit Chanaaiyara

Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources is collaborating with the Standards Organization of Nigeria to curb supply of substandard lubricants in the country. The agency made the point recently while unveiling a downstream remote monitoring system that it is requiring petroleum product retail outlets to adopt by the end of this year.

The DPR set a Dec. 31 deadline for petroleum products retail outlets to migrate operations to the agency’s downstream remote monitoring system, which is designed to help curb border smuggling and diversion of products, the state-owned News Agency of Nigeria reported earlier this month.

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The news agency said DPR Director Sarki Auwalu gave owners of petroleum products retail outlets an ultimatum to migrate their operations to the downstream remote monitoring system by Dec. 31, during a meeting between the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and agencies in the petroleum sector on Aug. 5 in Lagos. Agencies participating in the meeting included the Pipelines and Products Marketing Co., the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalization Fund Management Board.

In the report, Auwalu described the system as an inventory and regulatory tool that tracks product levels across retail outlets and depots. The system also tracks movement of products from depots to retail outlets. He noted that only 6,700 of the 33,000 retail outlets registered with DPR have migrated to the new system. The director said that any outlet failing to comply with the directive would have its license withdrawn and would not be allowed to load petroleum products at the depots.

According to an Aug. 25 DPR news release, Auwalu claimed that some manufacturers in Nigeria recycle engine oil and package them and other substandard products for sale to unknowing Nigerians. He noted that such lubricants have had adverse effects on vehicle engines as well as generators, adding that the DPR was working with the Standards Organization of Nigeria to rid the market of such activities.

Auwalu has also called for more collaboration among agencies in the petroleum sector to curb cross-border smuggling and diversion of products.

In early 2020, Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council was considering adopting a policy that would crack down on sales of substandard lubes through a partnership between regulatory agencies, security operatives and local lubricant market stakeholders.