The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said it discovered an illegal refinery, operated in a rented apartment, in Sokoto State.
The Commandant of the Defence Corps, Mr Babangida Dustun-ma made this known in an interview with the press in Sokoto. He said the surveillance committee discovered the hideout located in a rented apartment owned by a Sokoto businessman, along Bodinga road, in the outskirts of Sokoto metropolis.
“The NSCDC anti-vandal team on surveillance detected the centre in which those involved in the adulteration dug a big hole using a large tank in perpetrating the act. “The ditch is connected to a transformer from which they tap electricity for heating the adulterated products,’’ he said
The commandant also said the operators fled the place upon seeing the NSCDC officials.
He further said that their equipment were confiscated which includes jerry cans, empty metal drums, electric cables and containers used in the procedure of getting the petroleum products.
He explained that preliminary investigations show that the perpetrators adulterate Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, and black oil to produce various petroleum products and sell them to unsuspecting customers.
He therefore pleaded with the public to assist the command with any useful information and report any suspicious movement in the community.
According to DPR (Directorate of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria) GAZETTE 2009, vol. 7, No 131, adulteration refers to the “act of weakening or contaminating a substance by adding another substance of lower value to it”. This means that petroleum products adulteration is carried out by adding substances of lower value to the petroleum products of higher value in order to weaken its strength, increase its volume and thus create room for extra profit margin.
Even as at 2011, the Chairman, Western Zone of NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo, explained that adulteration of petroleum products has been going on for a very long time.
“For instance, faking of diesel is largely responsible for why many industrial machines and car engines using this product develop fault at regular intervals and finally break down after several repairs”, he said.
He also enlightened those who think the issue is limited to those who have cars when he said
“Aside from car engines, the generators we use to supply electricity for industrial and domestic concerns are also at risk because they need petroleum products to function. It is a very bad practice that has disastrous consequences for almost everyone in the environment because it could cause explosion at homes and in offices. We have discovered through our task force team that is monitoring the operations of tanker drivers that some transporters in Nigeria indulge in adulteration of petroleum products to enrich themselves. For instance, what they do is to reduce some quantity of diesel and replace it with kerosene because kerosene is cheaper than diesel, after which they distribute these products in the market for people to buy.”