A major row broke out yesterday over the importation of Toxic petrol.
Some of the firms accused by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited of importing the toxic petrol denied culpability.
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that those involved in the importation of “substandard products” be held accountable. He also directed that consumers be protected.
NNPC Group Managing Director Mele Kyari on Wednesday night said the company’s investigation showed the presence of methanol in four petrol cargoes imported by its agents.
NNPC handles imports through a crude-for-fuel contract method known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) with consortia of local and foreign oil firms.
Kyari said: “Precisely on the 20th of January, NNPC received a report from our quality inspector on the presence of emulsion particles in the PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria from Artway Belgium.
“NNPC investigation revealed the presence of methanol in four of the PMS cargoes imported by our DSDP suppliers, including MRS, Emadeb, IH Energy, Britannia-U Consortium, Oando and also our own company, Duke Oil.
“Cargo quality certificate issued at load port by Amspec Belgium indicates that the gasoline complied with Nigeria’s specifications.”
Kyari said to prevent the distribution of the toxic petrol, “we have ordered the quarantine of all un-evacuated volumes”.
He added: “As a standard practice of all PMS import to Nigeria, the cargoes were also certified by inspection agent appointed by the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
“It is worthy to note that the usual quality inspection in load protocol employed in both load port in Belgium and our ports in Nigeria do not include the test for percentage of methanol content.
“Therefore, this tip was not detected by our quality detectors.”
Kyari’s claim was at variance with an earlier statement by MRS.
MRS said: “Due to the current subsidy regime, NNPC is the sole supplier of all PMS in Nigeria.
“Consequently, the NNPC through their trading arm, Duke Oil, supplied a cargo of PMS purchased from international trader Litasco and delivered it with Motor Tanker (MT) Nord Gainer.
“This vessel discharged in Apapa between January 24 and 30, 2022 and the following major marketers with receiving quantities were the recipients of the product: OVH 10,000 mt; MRS 5,000 mt; NIPCO 5,958 mt; ARDOVA 6,000 mt; TOTAL 10,000 mt.
“As one of the beneficiaries, MRS received the product in its depot and distributed the product to only eight of its stations in Lagos.”
A member of the consortium, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, in a statement on behalf of Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi yesterday, accused Brittania-U of importing the toxic petrol.
The statement states: “We refer to the press release of February 9, 2022 by the NNPC Limited on the issue of contaminated PMS with higher concentrates of methanol allegedly imported by Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium.
“We hereby state that the said importation of the contaminated PMS was executed by a member of the consortium, to wit: Brittania-U.
“Brittania-U Nigeria Limited (Brittania-U) was the sole supplier of the 90,000MT of PMS delivered via MT Torm Hilde with laycan January 2 to 4, 2022.”
According to the companies, NNPC’s claims were misleading.
“The blanket claims made against the consortium by the NNPC are misleading and contradict the actual events that happened; they do not fully reflect and/or represent what transpired,” the companies said.
According to them, when they discovered the adulterated fuel, they notified NNPC.
They stated: “In view of the notice of the contaminated product, Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi immediately notified Brittania-U via a letter dated February 3, 2022 and also expressly informed NNPC of the sole liability of Brittania U.
“Based on the substantial evidence provided to NNPC and several declarations by Brittania-U to NNPC, Brittania-U is therefore solely liable for the supply of the PMS via MT Torm Hilde.