The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) has revealed how adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) was imported into the country undetected in four petrol cargoes by MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando, and Duke Oil.
How Adulterated Petrol Was Imported In Nigeria
Addressing reporters Wednesday night in Abuja, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari said the contaminated petrol was imported from Belgium by the four accused companies.
According to him, the adulterated fuel was imported 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 later at the point of arrival in Nigeria.
Kyari explained that the contaminated PMS was not detected because the quality checks do not include checks for Methanol percentage, adding that cargoes quality certificates issued at load port (Antwerp-Belgium) by AmSpec Belgium indicate that the gasoline complied with Nigerian Specification.
The NNPC boss who did not give the date of import, however, disclosed that the NNPC found out about the situation late in January following a report received from their quality inspector on the presence of emulsion particles in PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria from Antwerp-Belgium.
He said, said, “It is a very difficult period for us and it is very important to update our customers and members of the general public on the ongoing efforts by NNPC and other stakeholders including you, to resolve the issues generated by the unfortunate supply and discharge of methanol blended gasoline (PMS) in some Nigerian depots.
‘’Precisely 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.
‘’NNPC investigation revealed the presence of Methanol in Four (4) PMS cargoes imported by our DSDP suppliers including MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando and also our own company Duke Oil.
‘’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, all world class surveyors and inspectors, conducted tests on this before discharge also showed that the gasoline met Nigerian specification.
‘’As a standard practice for all PMS import to Nigeria, the cargoes were equally certified by inspection agent appointed by the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority as products that met Nigerian specification.
‘’It is important to note that the usual quality inspection protocol employed in both the load port in Belgium and our discharge ports in Nigeria do not include the test for Percentage methanol content and therefore the additive was not detected by our quality inspectors.
‘’In order to prevent the distribution of the petrol, we have ordered the quarantine 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 will work with the authority to take further necessary actions in line with subsisting regulations.
‘’NNPC wishes to reassure Nigerians that we are currently sourcing additional cargoes to ensure product sufficiency. We will like to thank you for your patience and remain committed to serving you.’’
The adulterated petrol has damaged vehicles of an unknown number of citizens and companies, with queues at filling stations in Abuja, Lagos, and some other States.
KanyiDaily recalls that NNPC had recently disclosed that in the 12 months of 2021, a total of N100 billion was spent on the rehabilitation of Nigerian refineries.