The Federal Government, on Monday, announced that no unlicensed petroleum product dealer would be allowed to load products from June 1, 2023, as it vowed to shut down such businesses beginning from that day.
It warned that from June 1, 2023, anyone who wants to deal on petroleum products must obtain a licence, stressing that “no licence, no loading of any petroleum product.”
The government gave the warning in Abuja through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority at a stakeholders’ engagement on gas utilisation in Nigeria.
The objective of the engagement was to enlighten operators on the need to urgently obtain the requisite petroleum storage licence and to engender the transition from white products to gas.
“No licence, no loading. We still have like nine days to do the right thing and comply. As the scripture says, obedience is better than sacrifice. As a regulator we prefer that people comply so that it doesn’t have adverse effects on your businesses.
“If there is no compliance, we can assure you from the authority that from 1st of June, there will be no licence, no loading. Any depot, any licensed operator who supplies petroleum products to an unlicensed facility, we will shut down that operator,” the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Ogbugo Ukoha, stated.
He added, “I want to make a special appeal that anybody who wants to handle petroleum products in excess of 500-litre storage, is required to obtain a licence. Our licensing procedure includes going through what your equipment is, the distance, hazards, procedures and everything.”
Ukoha encouraged the operators to also take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the gas value chain, by positioning their energy needs to embrace gas derivatives.
He outlined the derivatives to include Liquefied Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas, Autogas, propane and butane, adding that investing in these would help hedge against future global uncertainties that could arise from the supply of petrol and diesel.
Okoha said the authority’s 12 gazetted regulations had defined the licensing regime, procedures and standards for handling petroleum products, which when breached posed increased risks.
Earlier, the authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed, said the Federal Government had put in place various initiatives and policy frameworks including the National Gas Expansion Programme and the Decade of Gas Programme to deepen the use of gas in Nigeria.
“It is our hope that this engagement will create the necessary awareness and make the compelling case for industry operators to foster a compliance culture, which alone guarantees safer and sustainable facilities,” Faouk, who was represented by the Executive Director, Health, Safety, Environment and Community, NMDPRA, Mustapha Lamorde, stated.
He explained that the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund, as contained in the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, would catalyse gas investments, adding that efforts being made in gas expansion were currently yielding results, though more collaborations were needed to improve domestic gas utilisation.