Fake Lubes Flood Nigeria


The Lubricants Producers Association of Nigeria laments the upsurge of impure lubricants, while the countrys two regulatory agencies for lubricants say they are taking steps to fight the problem.

The influx of imported sub-standard and adulterated finished lubricants into the country is on the increase at what could best be termed an alarming rate, said Emeka Obidike, executive secretary of Lupan, in a press statement. Most of the products in question are produced with recycled oils, with little or no additives.

Get alerts when new Sustainability Blog articles are available.


Obidike emphasized that fake lubricants dont meet acceptable standards and cost less, spoiling competition with legitimate lubes from market players such as blender members of Lupan and independent blenders.

Obidike warned that granting lubricants import licenses to people without knowledge of the industry could result in closure of existing plants, unemployment and economic losses to the nation.

Lupan further urged the federal government of Nigeria to reduce the 10 percent tariffs on base oil and finished lubricants to 5 percent each.Similarly, we need a tariff hike for all imported lubricants from 10 percent to 50 percent minimal duty in order to protect local industry as well as remain competitive in the market, Obidike said.

The current capacity of Nigerias lubricant blending plants, when fully operational, far exceeds local demand, Obidike said. There is room for increased utilization, which will generate more employment, boost our economy and check capital flight, amongst other things.

There are two regulatory agencies for lubricants in Nigeria – the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON).

DPR Deputy Director of Public Affairs Belema Osibodu told Lube Report the agencies have initiated the requisite mechanisms to fight substandard lubes in the country. One is to outlaw the sale of lubricants or material claimed to be lubricants in unbranded, unlabeled packs or plastic bottles in open market areas or roadside stands. DPR is also working to inform stakeholders of the dangers of patronizing unlicensed retailers, and creating an awareness campaign to dissuade the public from using unbranded lubricants. The government is also stepping up supervision of base oil importation in the attempt to ensure base oils go only to licensed lube blenders, rather than winding up in the hands of vendors who pass the raw product off as finished lubricants.

Another effort is to increase the frequency of quality assurance visits to blending plants. Timothy Abner, head of petroleum standardization for SON, told Lube Report the organization has deployed motorized testing laboratories in every part of the country to check adulterated lubes.

However, Matric Petro-Chem Ltd. CEO John Erinne said, regulatory control is very weak. His position is corroborated by Taiye Williams, managing director and CEO of Lubcon Nigeria Ltd.: Though it is unlawful to sell untreated oil by the road-side, selling of untreated oils is common on Nigerias streets.

According to Obidike, Lupan seeks an effective partnership with the regulatory agencies in its effort to curb the menace of substandard imported lubricants into the country.

The desires of the Nigerian government to achieve its local content policy would amount to mere wishful thinking if rampant importation of lubes is not checked, Obidike charged. No country can truly achieve greatness by over-dependence on foreign products at the expense of its local industry.

Related Topics

Africa    Finished Lubricants    Region    Regulations    Regulations Specs & Testing