By Miriam Humbe
The number of lubricant industries in Nigeria have increased from 20 plants in 2013 to more than 50 blending plants as at present while the lubricant sector has also achieved 100 percent local content, employing solely both skilled and unskilled hands in every sector of the industry.
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Abubakar stated this on Wednesday during the stakeholders validation meeting of the draft national lubricant policy held in Abuja.
The minister who was represented by Director of Human Resources Management in the ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Alhaji Mohammed Dauda Haruna, said that “the ministry is prepared to work with all relevant stakeholders and MDAs to ensure effective implementation of the draft policy on approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
“ We believe that development of this lubricant policy is essential for increasing productivity, creating jobs, boosting our economy and would be accommodated within the space to support the government industrialization drive. “
Hajiya Abubakar enumerated the challenges faced by the sector which have been identified in the draft policy awaiting validation and approval by the FEC to include total dependence on on importation of Base Oil and activities, the raw materials for lubricants production, which constitutes a major depletion of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings amounting to nearly USD 70 m annually.
Other challenges according to her, include counterfeiting of high quality popular local brands, unbridled importation of substandard finished lubricants and influx of substandard foreign lubricants and multiple payment of levies, charges dues, demand of certification or licencing of base oil by various agencies.
The policy, the minister said, is expected to be forwarded to the federal government and the National Assembly for ratification.