Fuel Scarcity: Queue to end in a few days- Kyari

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited has assured Nigerians that the company had placed significant orders of over 2.1 billion litres of methanol-free petroleum to ensure that the long queues of petroleum end in a few days.

This was disclosed in a statement by GarbaDeen Muhammad, the group general manager, group public affairs division of the NNPC Limited.

According to the statement, the NNPC boss, Mele Kyari, gave the assurance while briefing the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).

The federal government had on Tuesday last week said methanol, a chemical additive, found in recently imported fuel exceeded Nigeria’s specification.

The development has resulted in a shortage of petrol and queues reappearing in major cities including Abuja and Lagos.

Traffic gridlocks appeared across some major parts of the city as many service lanes were closed to traffic due to queues from petrol stations.

Mr 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 the NNPC and its partners.

The NNPC boss said the reason tests did not reveal methanol presence was because Nigeria’s testing mechanism does not cover methanol.

He also noted that methanol discovery was made by its inspection agents who noticed the emulsification at the filling stations.

“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, disclosed it to us,” he said.

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“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,” Mr Kyari said.

He noted that the NNPC then moved swiftly to trace all the affected products and quarantine them to forestall further damage.

While assuring the committee and Nigerians that measures have been put in place to accelerate fuel supply and distribution in the country, he said the company had placed significant orders of over 2.1billion litres of methanol-free PMS to ensure the queues vanish in a few days.

He pledged that NNPC would cooperate with the committee and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to get to the root of the matter.

He 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.

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