Home » Lawmakers vote against motion to suspend alleged import license granted to Dangote Refinery

Lawmakers vote against motion to suspend alleged import license granted to Dangote Refinery

by Samson Echenim
Dangote refinery license

During the second plenary session of the 10th House of Representatives on Friday, June 16, an attempt to suspend the license granted to Dangote Refinery as the exclusive importer of petrol in Nigeria was rejected.

News reports from Channels Television confirmed this development. Honorable Ghali Tijani, a member of the House, called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) to suspend the license and allow other qualified importers to participate, despite the NNPCL’s denial of the allegation.

However, the motion was voted against by the lawmakers.

There have been recent claims that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) granted a petrol importation license to Dangote Refinery. However, the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) does not authorize the NNPCL to issue licenses.

Garba Deen Muhammad, the Chief Corporate Communications Officer at NNPCL, clarified in a recent chat with Nairametrics, that licenses are issued by regulatory bodies, not the NNPCL. He emphasized that the NNPCL is a limited liability company and cannot grant licenses.

Dangote Refinery is identified as a partner of the NNPCL. The regulatory authorities responsible for licensing in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry are the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

It is worth noting that the NMDPRA recently announced that starting from July 2023, three unnamed companies will begin importing petrol into Nigeria, marking a shift from the NNPCL’s exclusive importing status. This decision followed a meeting where the NMDPRA raised awareness among oil marketing companies about the requirements of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) regarding full deregulation and petrol importation.

The NMDPRA stated that the NNPCL has agreed to reduce its petrol import volume to create opportunities for other industry players. A part of the statement from NMDPRA read:

“Already, three oil marketers will from July this year start importing petroleum products into the country.”
Nairametrics attempted to reach out to the NMDPRA for verification of the claim that a petrol import license was issued to Dangote Refinery, but they were unavailable for comment.

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