The House of Representatives, on Thursday, has said nobody will be sanctioned for the supply of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit, otherwis…

 

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, has said nobody
will be sanctioned for the supply of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit,
otherwise known as petrol, which caused a major crisis in Nigeria’s fuel chain
and untold hardships on Nigerians.

 

At the plenary on Thursday, the House considered and adopted
the reviewed report on the investigation by its Committee on Petroleum
Resources (Downstream), which exonerated both the Nigerian National Petroleum
Company Limited, former Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and the
suppliers in the Direct Sale-Direct Purchase deal between the Federal
Government and the importers.

 

Tempers had frayed in the House on February 10, 2022, over
the importation of methanol-contaminated petrol. Several members who spoke on
the development called for sanctions against Federal Government agencies and
officials who failed to carry out due diligence before passing the product for
onward distribution to marketers.

 

The House had consequently resolved to investigate the
matter, insisting that those in the import and distribution chain, whose action
or inaction led to the spread of the commodity, must be held accountable.

 

The Majority Whip, Mohammed Monguno, had moved a motion of
urgent public importance, titled ‘Need to Investigate the Release and Sale of
Adulterated Premium Motor Spirit in Petrol Stations Across Nigeria.’

 

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on
Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to “investigate the release of adulterated PMS
across the country, with a view to ensuring that culprits are brought to book
as well as make recommendations towards curbing a reoccurrence of such
incident.”

 

The House also asked the committee to “ascertain whether the
Nigerian specification concerning importation, distribution and dispensing of
the alleged toxic petrol in Nigeria, from January till date, complies with
international standards.”

 

Also, the lawmakers further asked the committee to
“investigate the roles played by the NNPC Limited, Standard Organisation of
Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Navy, any other government
regulatory agencies, limited liabilities companies and individuals in the
unfortunate episode.”

 

Furthermore, the House asked the NNPC Limited to suspend the
four companies involved in the importation of the adulterated PMS.

 

However, the committee had presented a report which failed
to address the main issues for which it ordered the probe, causing the House to
reject it.

 

Several members of the House had, on March 23, 2022,
criticised the earlier report by the committee as failing to hold any persons,
group or company responsible for the development or recommend sanctions.

 

It was observed that the recommendations in the second
report were similar to those in the first version.

 

In the report adopted on Thursday, the committee recommended
“that the Hon. Minister of Petroleum Resources should expedite action for
completion of the rehabilitation work and ensure upgrading of the major
refineries at Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna to meet AFRI5 Specification, to
boost local refining and reduce over-dependence on imported PMS into Nigeria to
avert reoccurrence.”

 

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is
the Minister of Petroleum Resources, while Timipre Sylva is the Minister of State.

 

The committee also recommended “that the Hon. Minister of
State, Petroleum Resources, should initiate the adoption of the 2017 PMS
Standard (NIS 116:2017) as approved by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria,
which include testing for methanol for future importation of the product into
the country to mitigate reoccurrence;

 

“That the Federal Government should position the SON to
implement its mandate to the latter by subjecting all imported white petroleum
and other products to the offshore conformity assessment, and resume routine
quality control of them and other products imported into the country at our
various seaports, airports and borders throughout Nigeria as enshrined in the
Standards Organisation of Nigeria enabling Act of 2015.”

 

According to the panel, this will finally address the
reoccurrence of the importation of off-specification PMS and other substandard
goods into Nigeria.

 

The committee further recommended “that based on the
Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited exoneration, the four oil
marketers/importers (Duke Oil; MRS Oil and Gas; Oando Oil; and Emadeb,
Energy/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Britannia-U Consortium) did not commit any offence,
therefore, not recommended for suspension.

 

“That the Federal Government is to note that the SON’s mandate
is also specifically enshrined in item 62 (d) of Part I of the Second Schedule
(Exclusive Legislative List), to the 1999 Constitution.

 

“That the regulatory authority, in this case Nigerian
Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, should ensure proper
housekeeping by working with Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association
of Nigeria, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, and the Independent
Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in ensuring water is drained
regularly out of the tanks in the tank farms, tankers (trucks) and underground
tanks at the service stations.

 

“That the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited
shall maintain local supply and distribution of 90 million litres daily across
the country until normalcy is restored.”

Source: Adulterated petrol: No sanctions for NNPC, importers, say Reps

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