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Regulatory authority confirms ICIR report, admits importation of contaminated fuel

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THE Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority has confirmed an earlier report of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) on contaminated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in circulation.

In a statement issued late Tuesday in Abuja, the regulatory agency said limited quantity of PMS commonly known as Petrol, with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in the supply chain.

The Authority said in its bid to ensure vehicular and equipment safety, the limited quantity of the impacted product has been isolated and withdrawn from the market, including the loaded trucks in transit.


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“Our technical team in conjunction with NNPC Ltd and other industry stakeholders will continue to monitor and ensure quality petroleum products are adequately supplied and distributed nationwide,” the regulatory agency said.

It further explained that the source supplier has been identified, adding that further commercial and appropriate actions shall be taken by the Authority and NNPC Ltd

The regulatory authority further stated that NNPC Ltd and all Oil Marketing Companies have been directed to sustain sufficient distribution of petrol in all retail outlets nationwide.

Reacting to the development, some industry analysts expressed concerns at how the importation was able to beat safety regulations before entering the country.

Currently the NNPC Ltd is still the major importer of PMS in the country.

The ICIR discovered that some motorists had complained that their vehicle engines have developed fault as a result of the contaminated fuel in circulation.

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Onyeike Mgbemena, a cab driver told The ICIR that his fuel pump developed fault since last weekend which he said was as a result of the bad fuel he bought from Total Filling station.

He said that his friend Okechukwu Okpataku, also a cab driver who also bought the fuel with him at the same filling station has almost packed his car because of similar issue.

“I was lucky, immediately I noticed jerking in my fuel pump, I suspected bad fuel and had to draining my fuel thank immediately to get rid of it.,” Onyeike told The ICIR.

Chinedu Okoronkwo, the Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN) while speaking on the development said such motorists have rights to compliant about bad fuel and to seek redress.

“Making a case with the filling stations where they made the purchase is not out of place. It can also help the government to do its audit of tracking the contaminated fuel.”

Nigeria is not new to the on importation of contaminated fuel, in June 2016 for instance, members of the Economic Community of West African States convened for a two-day workshop in Abuja.

The sole aim was to chart ways to transit into using low sulphur fuels in their respective countries.

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At the end of the event, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Côte D’Ivoire agreed to ban the importation of Europe’s dirty fuels, thus limiting sulphur in fuels from 3000ppm to 50ppm.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said the move would help to drastically reduce vehicle emissions and help over 250 million people to breathe safer and cleaner air.

Analysts say appropriate sanctions must be meted out to those who imported the contaminated fuel into the country.

“We must move beyond workshops and ensure sanctions for those who violate the rules of importing environmental friendly fuel,” an Associate Consultant to the British Department of International Development, DFID Celestine Okeke told The ICIR.

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