The Lubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN) has implored the Federal Government to increase the tariff on imported lubricants from five to 50 percent.
The LUPAN’s Executive Secretary, Mr Emeka Obidike, told news reporters on Tuesday in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, that the review would help to curb the influx of substandard products.
According to him, there are 50 licensed lubricant plants in Nigeria with the total combined installed capacity, if operated fully, that can adequately satisfy the Nigerian markets with the surplus left for export.
Obidike, therefore, urged the government to also review the rules and regulations guiding the operations of the sector.
He said government in the past lacked the power to prosecute offenders, who were bringing in substandard goods, while some of the operators on their own prosecute those faking their products:
My take on this is that, laws should be promulgated to prosecute these importers of substandard lubricants and fakers of genuine product.
Unfortunately, this despicable act of faking, is no longer reserved for products of the multinational companies, as more and more complaints are coming in from our members too.”
Obidike said there was no reason why substandard lubricants should be imported when locally produced ones were manufactured based on standards that guaranteed the best quality.
The heinous fact still remains that if this scourge is not checked, it will sound the death knell of many indigenous blending companies and indeed the lubricant manufacturing sector as a whole,” he said.
He said the industry should operate subject to the jurisdiction of preferably the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for licensing and the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) for quality control.
This, he believed, would avoid a myriad of cost-inflating protocols, administrative bottlenecks and their attendant fees, levies, taxes and charges.
Obidike, who said that the fight against substandard lubricants was not a government’s job alone, called for the collective action of both the agencies and stakeholders.
He also tasked stakeholders to ensure that they are manufacturing to set standards and regulations.
Source: Voice of Nigeria