Petrol Scarcity Bites Harder In Kaduna As Marketers Sell At N220 Per Litre

 

The lingering scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as petrol has continued to bite harder in several parts of Kaduna state, as the pump price of the product has risen as high as N220 per litre.

This comes amid uncertainty about when the scarcity will abate in the northern part of the country.

Although the state plays host to the Kaduna Petrochemical and Refining Company( KRPC), the lingering scarcity of PMS has continued to unleash untold hardship and suffering for the residents who mostly rely on the product for their daily activities.

READ ALSO: Fuel Subsidy Is Estimated At N6.72tn For 2023 – Finance Minister

Most of the filling stations owned by major marketers in the Kaduna state capital are currently out of stock, while the few ones with the product, owned by independent marketers, are selling above the government-approved pump price of N165.

While the long queues are not as heavy as it was early this year when the scarcity started, the few filling stations where petrol is available, are now using the law of demand to fix their pump prices.

Residents lament that despite the assurance by the Federal Government to address the scarcity, the situation has continued to linger, even as they say they buy fuel at the filling stations at an expensive rate.

The prices range from N185 to N220 per litre, with motorists lamenting the negative impact of the arbitrary price increase in their daily lives.

On their part, the independent petroleum marketers attribute the increase in petrol pump prices to many factors, ranging from non-availability of products to the cost of landing from Lagos to Kaduna, and the high cost of diesel to power their generators due to the lack of electricity supply.

‘FG Not responsible’

Price increases have been recorded in many parts of the country, including in Lagos and Abuja.

However, the Federal Government has denied that it is responsible for the increase.

According to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, the government is still subsidising petrol.

Speaking at the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) stakeholders’ consultation forum on regulations earlier this week, Sylva said the marketers are most likely to blame.

“I can tell you authoritatively that we have not deregulated,” he said.

“The government is still subsidising. If there are increases in price, it is not from the government. It is probably from the marketers.

“But I will talk to the authorities to actually regulate the price. But this is not from the government. We have not deregulated.”

Meanwhile, petrol subsidy claims continue to skyrocket.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, petrol subsidy claims reached N2.6 trillion in the first half of 2022, surpassing revenue generated from the sale of crude oil.

Why There’s Fuel Scarcity – PENGASSAN

 

President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Festus Osifo, has shed light on the reasons behind the fuel scarcity experienced across the country, particularly in Lagos and Abuja.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, he highlighted the issue of ‘bridging funds’ between the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and truck drivers who deliver the Premium Motor Spirits (PMS).

Read Also: Selling Petrol At N165 Unrealistic, Says IPMAN As Scarcity Hits Lagos

“The NMDPRA are the ones administering a bridging fund. At a particular time, they agreed with truck drivers that the bridging fund is going to be about N10 per litre depending on the destination you’re going to all over the country.

“As at when they agreed, the cost of diesel was about N250 so it was fashionable and the N10 was a bit okay but today, the cost of diesel is over N700. It has tripled. So, the expectations from the tanker drivers is that since the cost has gone up, instead of paying me N10.40kobo as the case may be, you have to multiply it by three.

“At the end of the day, that is the first problem”.

Contrary to the belief that PMS is scarce, the PENGASSAN boss said that there’s at least 2 billion litres in stock.

“As at today, we have close to 2 billion litres of PMS, so the problem is not the stock,” he said, explaining that while the stock is available, most of the truck drivers are not willing to move these products “because of the previous problem I just enumerated”.

“One of the issues again is that today, NNPC is the sole importer of PMS, so they import PMS into the country, and this PMS is brought to the high sea, so they rent some smaller vessels to bunker the PMS and take to the various tank farms or depots. So, if it’s the NNPC depots and you are loading from the NNPC depots, you are going to pay abut N148 as the ex-depot price. But some of the PMS are also stored in private depots and those private depots don’t sell to the retailers for 148; they add some premium to it, at the end the of the day, they sell between 152, 155, 160 and 162.

“So, if they sell at that amount, it will now be difficult for the retailer to go and sell at the same amount.”

Meanwhile, President Muhamamdu Buhari has defended the Federal Government’s decision to keep paying fuel subsidies.

In a response to Bloomberg, the President said the effects of removing fuel subsidies would have been too harsh on the Nigerian people.

He said the government is working on boosting local capacity in order to stem the inflationary pressures that are likely to be triggered by a removal of subsidies.

“Most western countries are today implementing fuel subsidies. Why would we remove ours now?” What is good for the goose is good for the gander!” The President said.

Fuel Scarcity: Airlines Warn Of Imminent Disruptions To Flights

A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

 

The Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) has warned that the flight operations of its members may experience disruptions due to a growing scarcity of aviation fuel (Jet-A1).

A statement signed by AON’s spokesperson Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, said the “The scarcity is impacting negatively on seamless conduct of air transport operations and would lead to flight rescheduling, and, or, cancellations.”

However, the operators said they are “working very hard, and in alliance with product marketers, government and relevant stakeholders, to ensure availability and proper pricing of aviation fuel in the country.

READ ALSO: Students Block Major Roads In Oyo, Edo, Ondo To Condemn Prolonged ASUU Strike

“While pleading the understanding of the flying public in the face of this reality, we also promise to do all that is necessary, and within our powers, to restore normal flight schedules as soon as possible.”

The AON last week had threatened to shutdown operations over the rising cost of Jet-A1.

The shutdown was called off after the Federal Government intervened.

AON members on May 9 met with the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The NNPC at the meeting pledged to make available six million litres of JetA1 to aviation fuel marketers chosen by the AON as part of efforts to temporarily resolve the crisis.

But Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, noted that the price of the product cannot be guaranteed because it is affected by global market forces.

Fuel Scarcity: Lawyer Sues Buhari Over Hardship Experienced By Nigerians

Alleged Bribery: Witness Testifies As Rickey Tarfa’s Trial Continues
File photo

 

A Lagos-based legal practitioner, Festus Ogun on Monday filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court in Lagos over the excessive pain, hardship and agony Nigerians went through as a result of the fuel scarcity experienced earlier this year.

The legal practitioner said he solemnly believed that the gross inefficiency and mismanagement in the Petroleum Sector that led to the fuel scarcity was avoidable if the President was not holding the dual position of Petroleum Minister in violation of Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution.

He also contended that the President’s continuous service as Petroleum Minister is not only illegal and unconstitutional.

READ ALSO: Murder Charge: Trial Of Chidinma To Continue Tuesday

“It is inimical to our economic growth and likely to occasion future scarcity and inefficiency that will affect the country and its good people,” Ogun said.

“I make bold to say that it is practically and legally impossible for the President to hold his elected position that comes with enormous responsibilities, contemporaneously with the position of Petroleum Minister. It has no basis in law, logic and politics.”

“If Nigerians suffered that heavily during the fuel scarcity, the President must be answerable for it. There must be consequences. And as a citizen of this country, I believe we must avert a reoccurrence; whether under this regime or in future administrations.”

The case is yet to be assigned to any judge.

Buhari Apologises To Nigerians Over Fuel Scarcity, Reacts To Blackouts

A file photo taken on February 16, 2022, shows an NNPC retail outlet in Abuja amid the fuel scarcity in the country. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday apologised to Nigerians for the inconvenience caused by the prolonged shortage of petroleum products.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, he said his administration had successfully averted such a problem in its seven years in office.

“The administration knows the fuel shortage has placed a strain on Nigerian citizens and businesses, but relief is on the way. I specially apologise to all sections of the society for this,” said the President.

“The government is working round the clock to attend to this issue. An action plan agreed earlier this month is being implemented to address the scarcity. Working together with the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), this plan is now bearing fruit.

“Sufficient fuel supply has returned to a handful of states, with the queues at stations falling. In the coming days, we expect this to be the case across the rest of the country. Looking to the longer term, funds are being targeted toward keeping fuel availability affordable for the country.

“The international energy markets have surged drastically in recent months, the government will however ensure that consumers are protected against these price spikes.”

The President revealed that he has received information that some people were not behaving properly at the depots, and among owners of petrol stations.

In this regard, he directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the entire security apparatus of the nation to take strong action against those responsible.

 

Improved Power

A file photo of a powerline.
A file photo of a powerline.

 

President Buhari also spoke about the issue of power outages witnessed recently in various parts of the country.

“The blackouts seen in the national grid are also being addressed,” he assured Nigerians. “A dip in hydroelectric generation due to seasonal pressures has coincided with technical and supply problems at thermal stations.

“On this, the government is also working tirelessly to resolve the issues at the latter to guarantee sufficient power flows into the national grid.”

As part of emergency measures put in place following a meeting convened with key stakeholders to address the low power generation in the country, the President said the main challenge was identified as being one of low gas power generation, as a result of sabotage of gas pipelines leading to the shutdown of power plants coupled with routine maintenance on other gas power plants.

To recover over 1000MW, he said actions were agreed upon between the players in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) and NNPC.



According to President Buhari, the actions targeted the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), and power plants run under NNPC Joint Ventures, Agip and Shell (NAOC and SPDC).

He explained that progress on the key actions has already ensured the restoration of 375MW to the grid after the pipeline from “Okpai 1” was repaired.

To also ramp up the underutilised capacity of the NDPHC capacity, he said a $50 million gas supply agreement was being finalised to secure the sustainability of up to 800MW of underutilised NIPP assets.

The President assured Nigerians that the government’s attention to these problems would bear fruits very soon.

Fuel Scarcity: Probe Spending On Refineries Or Face Legal Action, SERAP Tells Buhari

A photo combination of SERAP’s logo and President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the appropriate anti-corruption agencies to probe the spending on the country’s four refineries.

The organisation also asked the President to probe alleged corruption and mismanagement of public funds budgeted for the rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of the refineries since 1999 or risk legal action.

“Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any mismanaged public funds should be fully recovered,” SERAP said in a statement signed by its Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, on March 5.

Read Also: Nigerian Students Trapped In Ukraine Appeal For Urgent Evacuation

It also urged President Buhari to “direct Mr Malami and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the importation and distribution of dirty fuel into the country, and to urgently identify and ensure access to justice and effective remedies to affected victims.”

“There is a legitimate public interest in ensuring justice and accountability for alleged corruption and mismanagement in the oil sector and the resulting importation and distribution of dirty fuel and protracted fuel scarcity in the country.

“The importation and distribution of dirty fuel, and the current fuel scarcity across the country demonstrate the need for effective accountability measures to weed out, expose, and punish allegations of corruption in the sector, and to ensure justice and effective remedies for victims.”

The agency believes that allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the oil sector have contributed to the importation and distribution of bad fuel, causing environmental problems and violating the human rights of many users, including to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

To curb the situation, SERAP says investigating and prosecuting allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending on the refineries would be entirely consistent with constitutional guarantees and international standards.

“It may also galvanize public support for your government’s anti-corruption efforts,” it added.

“Alleged corruption and mismanagement in the oil sector, the importation and distribution of dirty fuel, and protracted fuel scarcity amount to a fundamental breach of constitutional and international human rights obligations, depriving Nigerians of economic opportunities and subjecting them to cruel and degrading treatment.”

The organisation, therefore, asked the Federal Government to instruct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to jointly track and monitor the spending of public funds to rehabilitate, operate, and maintain the country’s refineries.

Stressing that the situation has caused serious hardship for Nigerians, SERAP reminded the government of its responsibility to protect and secure the maximum welfare of citizens.

“Under Section 16(1) of the Constitution, your government has a responsibility to ‘secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity.’ Section 16(2) further provides that, ‘the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good.”

The agency asked the government to act on the recommended measures within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of the letter in which the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Malami was also copied.

SERAP threatened that if it does not hear from them within the given time frame, it will “consider appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

Lagos Seals Event Centre Where Petrol Was Shared As Souvenir

This photo shows kegs of petrol which were reportedly shared as party souvenirs in Lagos.
This photo shows kegs of petrol which were reportedly shared as party souvenirs in Lagos.

 

The Lagos State Government on Saturday said it had sealed an event centre where kegs of petrol were reportedly handed out as souvenirs.

“Lagos State Government through the Lagos Safety Commission and the Rapid Response Squad has sealed Havillah Event Centre, Oniru, for Contravening Public Safety Rules (Fuel Souvenir),” a statement signed by government spokesperson Gbenga Omotosho said.

A video of the petrol kegs being shared had went viral on social media prompting the government to open an investigation.

READ ALSO: NNPC Reassures Nigerians Of Adequate Fuel Supply Amid Queues In Filling Stations

“The action is dangerous and can lead to loss of lives and property. It is blatantly against all safety measures in such places,” Mr Omotosho added.

“The Lagos State Government says all those involved in such unlawful act will face the law.

“The safety of lives and properties of Lagosians and visitors remain a top priority to the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration. We, therefore , advise that actions that can lead to loss of lives and properties be avoided.”

Many Nigerian cities have experienced fuel scarcity in recent weeks resulting in long queues at petrol stations.

 

Below are photos of the event centre released by the state government:

Havillah Event Centre, Oniru was sealed by the Lagos State Government on March 5, 2022 for allowing the distribution of petrol kegs as souvenirs within its premises.

Havillah Event Centre, Oniru was sealed by the Lagos State Government on March 5, 2022 for allowing the distribution of petrol kegs as souvenirs within its premises.
Havillah Event Centre, Oniru was sealed by the Lagos State Government on March 5, 2022 for allowing the distribution of petrol kegs as souvenirs within its premises.

NNPC Reassures Nigerians Of Adequate Fuel Supply Amid Queues In Filling Stations

file photo of GMD/CEO of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari.

 

The Group Managing Director (CMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari, has reassured the public of an adequate supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to combat the long queues persisting in filling stations across the country.

In a meeting with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD) in Abuja on Wednesday, Kyari gave an optimist assessment about the crisis.

“We like to assure Nigerians that we have an adequate supply of Premium Motor Spirit,” he said during the event.

“Currently, we have over 1.7 billion litres of fuel in our hands both in marine and on land.

“This will ensure that scarcity created by panic buying will now be freed so that normalcy will return to filling stations across the country.”

He also revealed that the regulatory body had begun loading and sending out trucks at all its depositories to tackle the current scarcity.

“This means that we have the capacity to load out excessively from all depots. We have put in place measures to ensure 24hrs loading in all depots.”

He apologised to Nigerians for the difficulties experienced at fuel stations and also appealed to consumers to buy only the quantity they needed at fuel stations.

Last month, the NNPC boss had reiterated the organisation’s commitment to resolving the problem and expressed optimism that the situation will end.

“The situation you’re seeing today, I can assure you by next week, it will vanish. All things being equal, because of distribution issues that we may not have control over, including the movement of trucks, otherwise, we have robust supply arrangement to make sure we exit this situation,” he said as of then.

Despite his reassurances, long queues surfaced in filling stations across the nation, days after it appeared the situation had come under control. There are fears that the lingering scarcity may continue following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Oil vessels from the warring region have stayed longer than expected in the sea.

Scarcity: NSCDC Threatens To Seal Stations, Sue Independent Marketers Hoarding Fuel

NSCDC Officials at a fuel station in Taraba State.

 

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has threatened to seal any fuel station with Premium Motor Spirit and has refused to dispense fuel.

The security agency also vowed to sue fuel marketers hoarding the product.

This development follows weeks of tough times occasioned by fuel scarcity in major parts of the country, leading to a hike in transportation fares and commodities, a situation the NSCDC says they frown at.

Taraba State is one of the states hit by fuel scarcity with black marketers taking advantage of the scarcity to sell by the roadside.

READ ALSO: Seplat Signs Deal To Acquire Nigerian Unit Of ExxonMobil

The NSCDC commandant in the state, Edwin Ugwuji in an interview with Channels Television lamented that fuel stations are under lock and key but they are deliberately shut to exploit citizens.

Fuel queues in Taraba State.

 

He, therefore, ordered for immediate opening and dispensing of the product to avert panic buying as well as artificial scarcity.

“If they have fuel in their tanks, they must sell, but some are hoarding the fuel to sell to black marketers and that is what we are trying to discourage ”

“If there is any marketer that has gone contrary to the stipulated regulation, we will seal the filling station, after which we can take the matter to court,” Ugwuji said.

He also faulted some marketers who claim the cost of lifting the PMS is now expensive compared to the previous days.

“From investigations, what they told me is that the cost of lifting the fuel is very high, but I do not want to believe it, because they have been lifting the fuel long ago and it is not the first time, so I think they need to come out with a very strategic action plan.

“We are strongly against them shortchanging the public and we would not stop until the needful is done,” he said.

He also assured residents of the availability of PMS in the state and asked that panic buying should not be considered by anyone.

This Is The Only Major Fuel Scarcity Under Buhari’s Administration, Says Adesina

 

Nigeria has only witnessed one major fuel scarcity since the inception of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, says Mr Femi Adesina.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“Each time this issue of the fuel scarcity come up, there is also a word that comes to my mind; that word is called SNAFU, and it’s an acronym for Situation Normal All Filed Ups.

“What happened is a SNAFU in the petrol supply chain in the country,” he said. “In the life of this administration which will be seven years in May, it is only one major fuel scarcity we have had.”

 

Not A Routine

Lagos, Abuja, and major cities across the country were hit with fuel scarcity following the recent importation of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.

Amid an outcry over the situation which left many car engines damaged, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) said it has since withdrawn the adulterated petrol from the market.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Sign Electoral Bill In A Matter Of Hours – Adesina

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

It assured Nigerians that by the end of February, there would have been up to 2.1 billion litres of petrol in the country while millions of litres of the product were already in stock.

Despite the continued presence of long queues at filling stations, Adesina stressed that it should not be an opportunity for mischief makers to cause tension in the country.

“Now, there is a SNAFU, and some people are crying out as if heavens have fallen; no,” he said. “We should always consider the past and the present in this country. More than any other administration, this one (Buhari’s) has restored normalcy in petroleum supply for years.

“It is regrettable that Nigerians have had to stay hours on end at petrol stations. My driver also goes to queue up for hours before he gets fuel. Some people have had their car engines damaged, very regrettable.

“But then, we should not forget that it is not a routine or regular occurrence in the country and if there was an oversight, there is already a structure that can deal with that and we have been told that it’s going to be looked at.”

PDP Governors Ask Buhari To Resign As Petroleum Minister

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign from his position as Minister of Petroleum Resources, owing to what they termed ‘woeful failings’ in the ministry.

The party also called for the immediate sack of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, for “misleading Nigerians and concealing critical information at the onset of this ‘APC Toxic Fuel ImportGate’ saga”.

This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Debo Ologunagba on Wednesday.

Read Also: NNPC Insists Toxic Petrol Not Imported Deliberately, Says Fuel Scarcity To End Soon

“The PDP, therefore, calls for the immediate sack of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva for misleading Nigerians and concealing critical information at the onset of this “APC Toxic Fuel ImportGate” saga, having refused and failed as a public official with duty to Nigerians when he said on national TV that he cannot name persons involved in the fraud.

“The PDP also demands that having woefully failed, President Buhari should hands-off responsibilities as Minister of Petroleum Resources and allow competent professionals to man the ministry in order to restore sanity in the system.

“This is because the headship of the Petroleum Ministry as presently constituted is peopled with persons with no relevant education, experience, and expertise to manage this critical sector that accounts for over 90 percent of the revenue of the nation,” the statement read in part.

This comes amidst the current fuel scarcity in the country, brought on by the sale of ‘adulterated fuel’ in some stations.

According to the PDP, the (APC)-led administration is pushing Nigerians to take to the streets in protest against its continued arrogance, corruption, insensitivity to the feelings of the people as well as alleged shielding of APC leaders behind the importation of the toxic fuel into the country.

Speaking further they condemned the APC for allegedly trying to siphon money from the national coffers by seeking to draw a staggering N201 billion under the pretext of cleaning-up the poisonous fuel instead of exposing the culprits and getting them to bear the cost.

“Is it not saddening that the APC administration has continued to turn deaf ears to the cries by Nigerians to end its corruption and treasury looting spree and ease the suffering of the people occasioned by its sleaze and manifest incompetence in governance?

“Nigerians were shocked when the news broke out over the weekend that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company is seeking an estimated N201 billion to clean up the adulterated fuel.

“It is clear that this is another ploy by officials of APC administration to continue to pilfer the national treasury to fund APC’s rigging plans ahead of the 2023 elections as well as to finance the wasteful lifestyles of it leaders at the detriment of other Nigerians.

“Such move by the APC to further fleece the nation amounts to pushing the already exasperated citizens to the wall. The APC government would have nobody but itself to blame over the possible consequences of its continued impunity, insensitivity and disregard to the feelings of Nigerians.

“It is instructive to note that the APC has remained unyielding since our Party demanded for an investigation into allegations that APC leaders connived with some foreign interests to import very cheap heavily contaminated fuel-laden with methanol in their desperation to corruptly raise billions of naira to fund APC’s plots to rig the 2023 general elections.

“Nigerians can recall that our Party, well-meaning Nigerians and organisations had exposed and challenged APC’s plot to siphon N2.557 trillion padded as fuel subsidy for 2022. Having been so exposed, the APC resorted to fleecing Nigerians through importation of toxic fuel and now seeks to fritter N201 billion under the guise of cleaning up the adulterated fuel.”

The PDP, therefore, noted that the failure by the APC to set up an Independent Commission of Enquiry on the “APC Toxic Fuel ImportGate”, especially to ascertain the individuals involved in the deal, who undertook the pre-inspection and how much was paid for very cheap contaminated fuel, is fast putting the nation on edge.

The only way to douse the tension is for the APC administration to heed to demands by Nigerians and expose APC leaders allegedly involved in the importation of the toxic fuel; get them to pay compensation, particularly to those whose vehicles and equipment were damaged by the bad fuel as well as bear the cost of the said clean up.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) says the recent importation of toxic Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, into the country was not deliberate.

The Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, stated this on Wednesday during an interaction with the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the importation of the adulterated fuel into the country.

NNPC Insists Toxic Petrol Not Imported Deliberately, Says Fuel Scarcity To End Soon


 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) says the recent importation of toxic Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, into the country was not deliberate.

It added that there was no way the importers would have known that the petrol contained methanol, as checking for the substance was not a primary requirement for the relevant bodies.

NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari, stated this on Wednesday during an interaction with the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the circumstances surrounding the importation of the adulterated fuel into the country.

“No one out there will bring this product into this country deliberately,” he said.

“There is no way we would have seen this methanol except your supplier decides to disclose to you because it is not part of their requirements to look for this.”

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Kyari stressed that the company was not aware of the presence of methanol in the imported fuel and has taken measures to manage the situation.

He explained that the loading terminal from where the toxic petrol was brought into the country has been supplying gasoline for a very long time, as it was a major terminal supplying fuel not only to West Africa but many countries in Europe.

A photo taken on February 16, 2022, shows a truck parked at the premises of an NNPC retail outlet in Abuja. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The NNPC chief assured Nigerians that about 2.1 billion litres of the product would have been injected into the system before the end of the month.

“I can assure you that we have taken every necessary step to make sure that we maintain supply sufficiency, and as I have just reiterated for the benefit of Nigerians that we have a robust supply plan.

“By the end of this month, we will have up to 2.1 billion litres of PMS in this country (that will not contain methanol). Let us put it on record that what we always call panic-buying is nothing … I can assure you that we will contain this situation,” he added.

Kyari appeared before the lawmakers amid growing concerns over fuel scarcity which has worsened in Abuja, Lagos, and some parts of the country where hundreds of motorists were left stranded on long queues at filling stations in various parts of the country.

As part of measures to address the situation, the company directed all its depots and outlets to begin 24 hours operations across the country.

NNPC Group Executive Director (Downstream), Mr Adetunji Adeyemi, who briefed reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, stated that the company was already accelerating petrol distribution.

Stressing that several million litres of petrol were in stock, he revealed that the NNPC was expecting about 2.3 billion litres of petrol in the country by the end of the month.

Adeyemi said the company has constituted a monitoring team with the support of the authority and other security agencies to ensure the smooth distribution of petrol nationwide.