Dirty fuel: An analysis of official and unofficial petroleum products in the Niger Delta
Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), a leading non-governmental and not-for-profit organisation working in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria in support of those affected by the extractive industry and weak governance among others had announced the release of a groundbreaking report titled “Dirty fuel: an analysis of official and unofficial petroleum products in the Niger Delta”. A Press Statement released on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 gave some insight into the report thus; “This research compares differences in the standards of, and emissions from, official fuels in licensed filling stations, and unofficial fuels produced by artisanal oil refineries across Bayelsa and Rivers states. The analysis aims to improve upon current levels of evidence and understanding around some of the impacts of consuming these fuels on air pollution, health, and damage to engines and generators. Field researchers collected 91 unofficial and official fuel samples to establish the quality of fuel produced by artisanal refiners, in comparison to fuel available at filling stations and international standards. Samples of official and unofficial fuel were obtained in Bayelsa and Rivers states, and control samples of official fuels were collected in Lagos. The findings of this research are cause for serious concern, particularly the very high sulphur concentrations across unofficial and official fuel supplies in the Niger Delta. The samples analysed suggest a low standard of fuel is on offer in the Niger Delta, likely leading to high levels of emissions, serious health impacts, and increased vehicle and generator maintenance costs to consumers. Those handling products in artisanal refineries are also potentially exposed to serious health risks. We hope that this analysis motivates governments, commodity institutions, and the oil industry to regulate fuel content, emissions, and the use of carcinogenic and toxic compounds across the petroleum sector in Nigeria”
All of us at Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) congratulates SDN on the successful research and publication of this groundbreaking report; wish the public happy reading and called on the government to implement the policy recommendations of the report.