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I Warned about Adulterated Fuel in Nigeria Before

  By Farooq Kperogi Twitter: @farooqkperogi The news circle in Nigeria is now being dominated by stories of “adulterated” petrol in circulat...

 By Farooq Kperogi

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The news circle in Nigeria is now being dominated by stories of “adulterated” petrol in circulation at petrol stations. But petrol in Nigeria has been adulterated, inferior, low-quality, and toxic for a long time, and I’ve called attention to this at least twice in past columns.

In my November 5, 2011, column titled “Biggest Scandal in Oil ‘Subsidy Removal’ Fraud,” I pointed out that “the cabal of rapacious oil importers that the Jonathan administration—and the administrations that preceded him—mollycoddle with ‘subsidies’ actually import toxic, low-quality oil that is not fit for consumption in Europe or North America—or in any society that cares for the welfare of its citizens.”

It’s the third most read column on my blog. When it was published in 2011, a senator called me and said there would be a senate hearing on the issues and revelations contained in my column. I don’t know what became of this.

In my January 1, 2022, column titled “With Upcoming Toxic Fuel Price Hike, It’s a Sad New Year,” I reproduced relevant parts of my 2011 column and alerted Nigerians that the revelation I made in it hasn’t gone away.

I wrote: “Afrol News, an Africa-centered news agency, reported that it had been ‘given documentation’ that shows that the same Trafigura that was fined for dumping deleterious waste on Ivoirians had offloaded ‘dangerous and poor gasoline [i.e., petrol]’ in the ‘Nigerian port of Lagos.’ 

“This toxic petrol, which Nigerians have been consuming for years and which our governments ‘subsidize,’ according to the Afrol News report, ‘is highly unstable, not enduring sunlight exposure, and will cause damage to vehicles. It will also cause environmental damages due to high sulphur values, and can therefore cause human health damages. The product is strictly illegal in Europe and the US, but may in some cases be within legal quality and environment standards in some West African countries.”

So, nothing is really new, but I am glad that, for the first time, people recognize that this is a problem, and that the government has recalled toxic fuel in circulation.


  1. Prof, I'm an avid reader of your columns. I understand that you're a professor of journalism in the US and you would want to maintain Western standards of writing whilst writing your columns.
    Unless there is something I'm missing, I believe your columns are mostly read by Nigerians at home and in the diaspora. Given the nationality of the majority of your readers, respectfully, I have been meaning to suggest to you to sometimes: write in the vernacular to reach a larger audience; use Nigerian simile, metaphor and/or our local buzzwords to make a description more emphatic or vivid; and based on the nature of the column, include some comic or satirical stuff to amuse your readers. I understand the drudgery of writing and the mental stricture you undergo to publish a column. Yes, it ain't an easy task to put one's thoughts in black and white. However, this is the genre of your columns I'd love to read. My humble suggestion, Prof. I'm sorry I made this public; I couldn't find your DM in Twitter.

  2. Na wao, see suggestion! I know Prof once wrote a column about his target audience - not for everyone.


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