OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has vowed to investigate the current fuel scarcity crisis in the country caused by the importation of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).
In a motion by Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno at plenary on Thursday, the House directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to immediately suspend the four companies said to be involved in the purchasing and suppling of the bad product.
It also mandated all relevant Committees including Petroleum (Downstream), Petroleum (Upstream), to ascertain details of purchases of petroleum products made from January till date to ascertain whether they met with the international standards. The House also asked the NNPC to submit the deeds of purchase to parliament for scrutiny.
The joint committee is expected to investigate NNPC Limited, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), The Nigerian Navy and other regulatory agencies within the sector for the roles played in the supply of the contaminated product.
The sudden scarcity of premium motor spirit across the country has not only caused untold hardship to Nigerians, but also affected the country’s economy with the sudden increase in transportation cost which in turn affects the price of goods and services and the loss of man-hours as people are held up in fuel queues.
Monguno presented the motion titled ‘Need to Investigate the Release and Sale of Adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Petrol Stations Across Nigeria.’
He described it as an illegal and clandestine practice which posed severe risks to public health and automobile engine quality among others.
“Poor quality product was noticed about a week ago when many car engines of motorists were reportedly damaged and consumers allegedly started arresting and suing retail outlet owners for selling them products which damaged their vehicles.
“Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), which replaced the defunct Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), is directly responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance in the nation’s downstream sector, including technical, operational, and commercial activities,” the Chief Whip said.
“The seeming lack of a credible monitoring and surveillance system to ensure adequate fuel quality at the consumer end and prevent undue stress to the citizenry and the country as a whole,” he lamented.
Many members in contributing to the debate, condemned the development and demanded a comprehensive probe. They also called for sanctions against any party found culpable.
Speaking to the motion, Abubakar Nalaraba Hassan (APC, Nassarawa) described the situation as unacceptable and called for immediate investigations.
“A question must be asked and someone must answer. I want investigation to be carried out immediately. We cannot fold our arms and watch billion being wasted. I support this motion whole heartedly,” he said.
Cars of many Nigerians are damaged–
For Haruna Mshelia (APC, Borno); “the person that brought in this adulterated petroleum should repair the damaged cars and the machines this has caused.”
The motion when eventually put to voice vote got the support of the majority of the members. It was adopted with a call to ensure that the culprits were brought to book and make recommendations towards curbing a reoccurrence of such incidents in the future.