By: Gboyega Onadiran

The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC Mele Kyari has apologized to Nigerians over the importation of adulterated fuel into the country.

Kyari, who tendered the apology before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream investigating the importation of adulterated fuel, said NNPC was not aware of the presence of methanol in the fuel imported.

He disclosed that there was no way the importers would have known that the petrol contained methanol, as checking for the substance was not a primary requirement for the relevant bodies.

The GMD explained that the loading terminal from where the toxic petrol was brought into the country has been supplying gasoline for a very long time, as it was a major terminal supplying fuel not only to West Africa but many countries in Europe.

“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 GMD added.

He however assured Nigerians that the distribution of petrol would be normalized before the end of the week, adding that about 2.1 billion liters of petrol will be injected into the system before the end of February.

The GMD NNPC further assured that the NNPC Limited was doing everything possible to ensure that fuel supply across the country is normalized, urging Nigerians to avoid panic buying of the product.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.

Earlier, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Abdullahi Gaya, assured Nigerians that it would handle companies who imported off-spec Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) into the country.