Almost 48hours after, some of Nigeria’s oil tycoons fingered in the importation of adulterated PMS into the country have maintained a posture of condescending indifference and insensitivity even as Nigerians across the country continue to groan under fuel scarcity. In the past week, motorists across the country have faced a tough time getting fuel as it was revealed by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) that adulterated fuel was in circulation and had subsequently been withdrawn. An alarming number of motorists also complained that their car engine had been damaged by the adulterated fuel. The withdrawal of the fuel in circulation led to artificial scarcity as the long queues, not seen since December 2015, returned with vehemence.
In a statement, Wednesday, by his spokesman, Mallam Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Company Limited (NNPC), revealed that MRS, Oando, Duke Oil and a consortium consisting of Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U were responsible for bringing in the fuel. Billionaire Wale Tinubu is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando PLC, Africa’s leading indigenous energy solutions provider, which he co-founded with Mofe Boyo and Jite Okoloko in 1993. The company was then known as Ocean and Oil.
Kano-born businessman, Sayyu Dantata, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MRS Holdings Ltd while Catherine Uju Ifejika is the Chairperson/CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited; an indigenous petroleum company for upstream exploration and production, and Brittania-U Ghana Limited. She is regarded as the first woman to become chair and CEO of an Upstream E&P Company in Nigeria. Since the news broke, none of the well-known trio has made any official statement or apologised to Nigerians for the harrowing experience they were subjected to.
Malam Kyari stated that the NNPC’s investigation has revealed the presence of Methanol in four petrol cargoes imported by MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando and Duke Oil, but that he has since ordered the holding back of all the affected products in transit (both truck & marine).
Kyari said that the quality certificates issued at load port in Antwerp, Belgium, by AmSpec, an otherwise leading provider of testing, inspection, and certification (“TIC”) services for petroleum traders and refiners, indicated that the petrol complied with Nigerian specifications. However, Kyari noted that the corporation received a report from its quality inspector on January 20, on the presence of emulsion particles in PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria from Antwerp.
“The NNPC quality inspectors including GMO, SGS, GeoChem and G&G conducted tests before discharge also showed that the gasoline met Nigerian specification,” Kyari said, adding that as a standard practice for all PMS imports to Nigeria, the said cargoes were equally certified by an inspection agent appointed by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDRA).
The NMDRA said while methanol is a “regular additive in petrol and usually blended in an acceptable quantity,” the levels in the four cargoes were higher than Nigeria’s specification. The NNPC boss said that the company promptly ordered the quarantine of all un-evacuated volumes and the holding back of all the affected products in transit. Kyari said that all defaulting suppliers have been put on notice for remedial actions and that the NNPC and NMDRA will take further necessary actions in line with subsisting regulations.