Nigerian indigenous oil marketer, Oando Plc, early Friday morning, denied involvement in the raging controversy over the importation of about 170.25 million litres of methanol-blended Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which, new reports claim, could cost as much as N201 billion to clean up.
The downstream oil trading company issued a ‘rejoinder’ to official reports listing it alongside four marketers, as having imported the dirty fuel. The rejoinder, co-issued by Ayotola Jagun, the company secretary, and Alero Balogun, the head of corporate communications, was signed by Jagun as ”Chief Compliance Officer and Company Secretary.”
Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNNPC), Mele Kyari, had on Wednesday confirmed that the national oil firm’s inspection noted on January 20, 2022, the presence of emulsion particles in PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria from Antwerp-Belgium. Investigation, according to him, confirmed methanol in four PMS cargoes imported by its DSDP (Direct Sale Direct Purchase) suppliers, namely: MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando and Duke Oil.
Both MRS and Oando have now denied culpability.
”Following media reports listing Oando as one of four importers that supplied methanol-blended Premium Motor Spirit into the country, we hereby state that Oando did not import and supply PMS that was adulterated or substandard. The PMS supp,lied by Oando met Nigeria’s import specification,” Oando said in a terse response.
”We are committed to working assiduously with the NNPC and industry to identify the root cause(s)n of the subsequent contamination of the PMS supplied.
”We want to assure the public that Oando as a responsible corporate citizen would not partake in the importation, distribution, or marketing of substandard petroleum products.”
Petrol scarcity has continued to bite hard, across states, with long queues of the past returning at major filling stations. The worst hit is Abuja Federal Capital Territory and Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.
Reports indicate that the NNPC may need as much as N201 billion to clean the 170.25 litres of dirty fuel.
But MRS, in an earlier statement published by Prime Business Africa, had also denied culpability, describing the ‘allegation’ as ‘mischievous’ and ‘false.’
MRS says the current subsidy regime has put importation of fuel in the hands of the NNPC. The NNPC, the regulator, imports petroleum products through its trading arm Duke Oil, MRS argues.
Duke Oil reportedly supplied a cargo of PMS purchased from Litasco, an international trader, and was discharged at Apapa between January 24 and 30, 2022. MRS, Oando and others were among a number of retail outlets that received the high methanol PMS. Following public outcry, testing, according to MRS, confirmed 20 per cent methanol.
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