Members of the House of Representatives have called on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to suspend the four companies which recently imported adulterated fuel into the country.
The lawmakers also mandated its committee on petroleum downstream to investigate the release and sale of the off-spec Premium Motor Spirit by petrol stations across the country and to bring the culprits to book.
The issue was raised on Thursday as a motion of urgent public importance by the Chief Whip of the House, Mohammed Monguno.
The NNPC GMD on Wednesday explained how ‘adulterated’ Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from Belgium and listed the companies – MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando, and Duke Oil as the culprits.
He said NNPC investigation revealed the presence of Methanol in PMS cargoes of the companies.
Members of the House of Representatives during the plenary on Thursday also expressed concern over the effect of that adulterated petrol on vehicles and how the cost of transportation, goods, and service has increased.
Some of the lawmakers lamented that the system is completely compromised, considering the processes which the fuel must go through before reaching the fuel stations.
They asked that Nigerians whose vehicles and equipment were directly affected by the adulterated fuel be compensated.
Adulterated Fuel and Long Queues
There was anxiety in Lagos, Abuja, and some parts of the country on Tuesday when long fuel queues emerged due to the scarcity of the product.
Some fuel stations were locked while a few which were opened had long queues of motorists waiting to buy fuel.
The Federal Government in reaction said the scarcity and panic buying of fuel was due to excess methanol in some fuel. CEO of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Mr. Farouk Ahmed explained that methanol quantity above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in a supply chain, which was later isolated.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, therefore announced that there will be a major investigation to unravel the cause of the unsafe quantity of methanol in petrol imported into the country.
Speaking concerning the crisis on Wednesday, NNPC GMD Mele Kyari explained that PMS was imported into the country by four importers from Antwerp in Belgium with quality inspectors failing to detect the high level of Methanol it contained, first at the point of import in Belgium and at the point of arrival in Nigeria.