The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited provided the names of the firms it said were responsible for importing adulterated petrol into the country.
The government said it found methanol in recently imported fuel at levels far higher than allowed. This has led to fuel scarcity in major cities of the country, and a 10-day shortage in national fuel reserve capacity.
The NNPC, which manages fuel imports through the government’s Direct-Sale-Direct-Purchase vendors, said on Wednesday that the fuel came from Antwerp in Belgium.
It listed the vendors as MRS, Oando, Duke Oil and Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium.
This development came after the federal government on Wednesday said it would carry out a major investigation to know the circumstances surrounding the importation of adulterated fuel into the country.
The NNPC boss said quality inspectors initially failed to detect the high level of methanol at the point of arrival in Nigeria because officials do it usually check for methanol.
“On 20th January 2022, NNPC received a report from our quality inspector on the presence of emulsion particles in PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria from Antwerp-Belgium,” he said.
“Cargoes quality certificates issued at load port (Antwerp-Belgium) by AmSpec Belgium indicate that the gasoline complied with Nigerian Specification.
“The NNPC quality inspectors including GMO, SGS, GeoChem and G&G conducted tests before discharge and also showed that the gasoline met Nigerian specification.
“As a standard practice for all PMS imports to Nigeria, the said cargoes were equally certified by inspection agents appointed by the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDRA).
“It is important to note that the usual quality inspection protocol employed in both the load port in Belgium & our discharge ports in Nigeria do not include the test for Percent methanol content & therefore the additive was not detected by our quality inspectors’’ he said.
He said in order to prevent the distribution of the petrol, the company promptly ordered the separation of all un-evacuated volumes and the holding back of all the affected products in transit (both truck & marine).
“All defaulting suppliers have been put on notice for remedial actions and NNPC Ltd is working with the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority to take further necessary actions in line with subsisting regulations,” he said.
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