Nigeria bans use of kerosene for road construction

Emma Ujah

16 December 2011, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – The Nigerian government has banned the use of kerosene by construction companies who mix the product for the surface dressing of roads.

Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, told journalists in Abuja, Thursday, that the ban would become effective January 1, 2012, disclosing that the perpetual scarcity and high cost of kerosene in the country had been traced to construction firms who buy up the product for construction purposes, thereby denying ordinary Nigerians access to it.

The Federal Governments claims it subsidises kerosene but it sells at between N115 – N160 across the country, making it far more expensive than both diesel and petrol.

The minister’s words: “I found out recently that the issue of kerosene scarcity in the country has something to do with the Ministry of Works contractors or road contractors in Nigeria. Against environmental friendly practices around the world, in Nigeria we still use kerosene to mix bitumen for surface dressing.

“That is why kerosene is never available to the masses for which the government has been subsidising the product. That subsidy has been going to so many multinational companies in this country who control well over 90 per cent of the construction industry particularly road construction companies.

“As from January next year, we will outlaw the use of kerosene for road construction, if we do, we are going to be making millions of tonnes of kerosene for the masses that truly desire it and in that way, the government will not be wasting money subsidizing multinational who are the people who use a large percentage of this particular product.”

According to him, the government has decided that henceforth, rather than use kerosene, construction companies will now use emulsion for surface dressing.

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