The Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, has urged the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to probe the issue of importation of dirty, toxic and substandard fuel into the country by marketers.

Recall that recently, an international watchdog group, Stakeholder Democracy Network, SDN, stated that black market fuel gotten from stolen oil in “bush” refineries in the Niger Delta was less polluting, than the highly toxic diesel and petrol that Europe exports to Nigeria.

The SDN report, part-funded by the UK Foreign Office’s anti-corruption conflict, stability and security fund, found that the fuel imported from Europe exceeded EU pollution limits by as much as 204 times, and by 43 times the level for gasoline, whereas artisanal fuel had a higher quality than the imported diesel and gasoline.

Speaking, the Zonal Chairman of PETROAN in Rivers State, Prince Sunny Nkpe, said marketers are incessantly harassed by security agents over the quality of petroleum products they procure from depots.

Nkpe charged DPR to analyse the SDN’s report and make public the right specifications of quality petrol, to avoid further harassment by security operatives.

He also called on security agencies to desist from harassing her members, as it was not her obligation to determine the right specifications of product, but that of DPR.

“Quality of product is a concern to us, because this has put our members at the mercy of various security agencies; where you load products from a private depot and security agents will just come out to harass the driver, impound the truck, claiming the spec of the product is bad and begin to give funny names to the product.

“It is very unacceptable to us. It is not our duty to determine the spec of the products, it is the duty of DPR to determine the spec of products being sold to the public.

“The specification of AGO, flashpoints and density is fluctuating, we have asked DPR to intervene and furnish us with the right spec.

“The security agencies should desist from hunting our members, confiscating and impounding our trucks.”

On the fluctuations of the pump prices of fuel, PETROAN said the monthly auction of the prices of petroleum products by PPPRA was causing retailers to lose their investments.

Nkpe explained that a holistic deregulation of the sector will help to stabilised the price of PMS .

“The current tampering with the price of PMS has adversely affected our business. The Minister of State for Petroleum was talking about deregulation, We’d thought that was the government policy on the issue but we keep seeing PPPRA tampering with prices.