Contaminated or adulterated petrol in the Nigerian market has damaged cars and has led to the resurfacing of long, chaotic queues at gas stations.
According to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, Nigeria imported the petrol, which contained methanol above the specification for the domestic market, from Antwerp, Belgium in January.
“Precisely on the 20th of January, NNPC received a report from our quality inspector of the presence of emulsion particles in the PMS shipped to Nigeria from Antwerp, Belgium,” Kyari says.
The NNPC is the sole importer of petrol for the Nigerian market.
The contaminated petrol was shipped into Nigeria through NNPC subsidiary Duke Oil.
The companies behind the importation of the methanol-laced PMS, according to the NNPC boss, are:
Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium
MRS had issued a statement to say that: “Due to the current subsidy regime, NNPC is the sole supplier of all PMS in Nigeria.
“Consequently, the NNPC through their trading arm Duke Oil, supplied a cargo of PMS purchased from international trader Litasco and delivered it with Motor Tanker (MT) Nord Gainer.
“This vessel discharged in Apapa between the 24th and 30th of January, 2022.”
According to investigative journalist David Hundeyin; “A shipment of adulterated petrol was brought into Nigeria by Duke Oil, an NNPC trading subsidiary registered in 1989 in the tax haven and money laundering paradise of Panama.
“This company, which most of us had never heard of until today, is the SOLE IMPORTER of petrol into Nigeria, and has its operations shrouded in total secrecy.
“It has no physical office in Panama and routes its business through a Panamanian law firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee.
“Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee, for those who are not aware, is the law firm most repeatedly mentioned in the Pandora Papers Leak, for setting up money laundering schemes to hide money stolen by 3rd World govt officials,” Hundeyin wrote in a couple of tweets.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Fuel scarcity to be over in 3 days — NMDPRA boss
NNPC boss Kyari says, “It is important to note that the usual quality inspection protocol employed in both the load port in Belgium and our discharge ports in Nigeria do not include the test for percent methanol content and therefore the additive was not detected by our quality inspectors.”
Methanol-blended petrol is not uncommon, as Methanol is regularly added to petrol in appreciable quantities.
However, high percentages of methanol in petrol is capable of lowering the energy density of petrol, lowering engine performance and damaging the engines of cars.
It is little wonder that several cars have been damaged in Lagos and Abuja in the last couple of weeks, and the federal government is considering a compensation package for the owners of these cars.
The federal government has also promised to investigate the importation of adulterated petrol for the Nigerian market.
Nigeria produces crude oil, but curiously exports the product and imports refined crude, because all of its refineries are comatose or are operating below capacity.