Costs and Benefits of Soot-Free Road Transport in Nigeria

This study aims to inform policymakers in Nigeria in the transition to particle-free road transportation. The authors review relevant data and trends related to Nigeria and evaluate the costs and benefits of two different policy scenarios. Finally, it provides recommendations for a path forward, including considerations for implementation. Nigeria is the largest vehicle market of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with about 66% of the region’s vehicle fleet. The country also endures a high, growing health burden from air pollution, with particulates imposing a social cost of more than 3% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product. Road transportation produces 75% of transportation pollution, and from 2010 to 2015, the health burden of road transportation emissions grew by 25%. Road transportation fuels in Nigeria contain about 100 times the sulfur levels permitted in Europe, and low fuel quality has hindered the introduction of standards for vehicle emissions. Around 90% of vehicles imported to Nigeria are previously used, with passenger vehicles permitted to be up to 15 years old, with no age limits for imported commercial vehicles. ECOWAS has worked to update and harmonize fuel quality and vehicle emissions regulations. In December 2016, Ministers of ECOWAS states met in Abuja, Nigeria and agreed to import only low-sulfur fuels from mid-2017. Also, the eight refineries in the ECOWAS region, including Nigerian plants, were to produce low-sulfur fuels by 2020. Nigeria did not meet its July 2017 target for importing low-sulfur fuels. By August 2018, fuel specifications still varied greatly among ECOWAS states. In June 2018, representatives of twelve ECOWAS states met in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, to agree harmonized specifications for fuels and vehicles. To support this, ECOWAS commissioned a study for the development of a regional framework for updated fuel and vehicle specifications. CITAC Africa Ltd. was selected to provide recommendations for fuel specifications, and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) was asked to draw up recommendations for vehicle specifications. These recommendations were presented at a workshop in Abidjan in December 2018. Fourteen ECOWAS states attended, including the ministries responsible for hydrocarbon fuels, environment, and transportation. CITAC Africa Ltd and ICCT presented recommendations that include: a 50 parts per million (ppm) sulfur limit for fuel imports from January, 2020 forward; domestic refineries to meet 50 ppm sulfur levels by January 2024; and Euro 4-equivalent standards for new vehicles starting in January 2020. Because of the size of Nigeria’s population, economy, vehicle and fuels markets, and refineries these actions will substantially influence ECOWAS’s progress toward up-to-date, harmonized specifications for fuels and vehicles.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: White Paper
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 23p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01719834
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 9 2019 11:41AM