Home News NSCDC Busted Diesel Refining Site in Gombe: the Director’s POV

NSCDC Busted Diesel Refining Site in Gombe: the Director’s POV


Recall that The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) uncovered an illegal diesel refining site in Gombe, leading to the arrest of three people and the confiscation of over 420 litres of ‘refined’ diesel.

The Managing Director of the busted site, Abubakar Aliyu, has refuted claims that the establishment is a refinery. He instead categorized it as pyrolysis. BB

Pyrolysis is a process that involves the decomposition of organic materials through high heat in the absence of oxygen. This results in the breakdown of the material into gasses, liquids, and solids. Aliyu stated that his three-week-old business used this process and, thus, was not a refinery. According to him, he used tyres, nylon, coal, and many others as raw materials, not crude oil.

Aliyu told PUNCH that he started the business after a workshop in Abuja and did not know he needed a SON registration. “When I learnt of the hazard, I went to buy land outside of the residential area. I didn’t know we required a registration from SON, but I was about to get clearance from the Ministry of Environment”, he said. Aliyu, with a background in Agricultural Engineering, clarified that he didn’t arrange the production operation himself but acquired expertise who shared a similar vision of creating things as him. He explained that he has had a penchant for building things since childhood and that he would usually engage the expertise of others.

Investigations are underway to ascertain the genuineness of his claims and product or lack of it thereof. Regulatory bodies ought to examine the business critically because, away from the legal sphere, it bears serious health and environmental concerns. If indeed the business is genuinely hinged on creativity, extensive training and strict regulatory measures need to be imposed.

Pyrolysis can release gases and volatile organic compounds that may contribute to air pollution if not properly controlled. The solid residue produced during the process may need proper disposal measures to prevent soil or water contamination. Depending on the energy source used for pyrolysis also, there may be concerns related to overall energy consumption and its environmental impact. Some pyrolysis processes may generate odours that can impact the surrounding environment and community. People around the Gombe refining site have already complained about the air pollution the production operation causes. As SON commences its investigations, an update will be made available.

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