When Will Nigeria Stop Importing Europe's Dirty Fuel?

The government has since 2016, been making repeated promises to end the import of dirty fuels. Members of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, convened a two-day workshop in Abuja in June 2016 with the plan to find ways in using low sulphur fuels in their respective countries. At the end of the event, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, and Côte D'Ivoire agreed to ban the importation of Europe's dirty fuels. However, energy giants like Shell, Chevron and ExxonMobil do the drilling in the Niger Delta region, and they, in turn, pay production entitlements, taxes, royalties and other remittances to the Nigerian government. Of the volume drilled, little is refined in state-owned refineries, which has not been functioning effectively for years, despite draining billions of naira and not being able to meet national needs. To bridge the deficit, the country has turned to foreign refineries, from where refined and highly sulphured fuels - because they are cheaper - are imported into Nigeria, much to the chagrin of health and environmental campaigners. The Nigeria government recently announced that it would not be able to bear the U.S.$300 million monthly subsidy burden on petroleum products. With fuel subsidies soon to be stopped, Nigerians may have to pay more to get cleaner fuels.


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