To clean up the 170.25 million litres of methanol-laden premium motor spirit (PMS) imported into the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) may need as much as N201 billion, an equivalent of some $480.8 million in conservative exchange rate.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Mr Farouk Ahmed, while visiting some Lagos depots after a meeting with industry stakeholders on Wednesday, had hinted that ”all off-spec material” would be re-blended to acceptable quality, certified and re-certified before resupplying them.
“All the off-spec material (product) will re-blended to very good quality, and it will be certified and re-certified before it goes into the market,’ Ahmed said.
Mr. Ahmed’s statement had followed Tuesday’s disclosure by the NMDPRA that every 200 litres of dirty or adulterated fuel would need 800 litres of blending with good petrol to bring it up to the acceptable standard.
”The component that was in excess was methanol; what we agreed was that for every 200 litres of the affected volume, we need about 800 litres to blend,” Ahmed, said on Wednesday during his tour of some depots in Lagos.”
Regulators had revealed that a limited quantity of PMS with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in the supply chain. This has led to closure of several fuel outlets suspected to have acquired the bad product, a situation that has led to a nationwide fuel supply crisis.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, said the regulator’s quality inspector had on Wednesday January 20, 2022, reported presence of emulsion particles in PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria from Antwerp-Belgium.
According to Kyari, methanol was found in four PMS cargoes imported through NNPC’s Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) suppliers. The NNPC named the suppliers as MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando and Duke Oil.Both MRS and Oando have in separate statements made avaialble to Prime Business Africa denied culpability.
While MRS says the responsibility for importing petrol was solely that of thee NNPC through its ‘trading arm’ Duke Oil, Oando, in its defence, said it it would assist the NNPC trace the root cause of the adulteration which probably occurred after supply was effected.
NNPC’s DSDP programme allows a few accredited foreign refiners, trading companies and indigenous companies to receive supply of Nigerian crude and deliver equal value of petrol and other refined products to the NNPC.
The dirty fuel controversy and subsequent closure of marketing outlets have triggered scarcity and socio-economic hardship across the country.
Long queues have returned at petrol stations in Abuja Federal Capital Territory , Lagos and urban centres across states in Nigeria, just as Prime Business Africa reports that desperate motorists in Abuja and Lagos are seen resorting to black market for supplies.
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