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


Agency report

The House of Representatives 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.