The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya has assured Nigerians that his Committee will handle companies who imported methanol-blended Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) into the country. The Chairman gave the assurance while responding to a question from one of the Committee members in an engagement with Management of the NNPC organised by the Committee on the current fuel situation in the country.
While briefing the Committee, the CEO/GMD, Mallam Mele Kyari explained that the situation came about as a result of the discovery of methanol in the PMS cargoes shipped to Nigeria under the subsisting commercial contract operated by NNPC and its partners.
Garba Deen Muhammad, Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of
NNPC Limited confirmed to our correspondent that the GMD explained that the reason why tests did not reveal methanol presence was because Nigeria’s specifications do not include methanol.
The Group Managing Director said: “We are a law-abiding company. There is no way we could have known about the methanol presence. The only way we could have known about it is if our suppliers, in good faith, made the disclosure to us. In this particular instance, the discovery was made by our inspection agents who noticed the emulsification at the filling stations and brought it to our attention. Subsequent investigation revealed that the four cargoes which are all from the same source also contained methanol-blended PMS,” the CEO added.
He said NNPC then moved swiftly to trace all the affected products and quarantine same.
While assuring the Committee and Nigerians that measures have been put in place to accelerate fuel supply and distribution in the country, the NNPC CEO said the company had placed significant orders of over 2.1billion liters of methanol-free PMS to ensure the queues vanish in few days.
He pledged that NNPC would co-operate with the Committee and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to get to the root of the matter.
The NNPC CEO also expressed deep empathy with Nigerians on the current situation and assured that adequate measures have been put in place to maintain supply sufficiency and prevent future occurrence.