OrderPaperToday- The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited, has assured the public that in the next two weeks the situation of fuel supply shortage in some parts of the country will be over.

NNPC Limited’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, apologised and gave the assurance on Wednesday while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream.

Kyari, disclosed that the supply shortage being experienced were as a result of the quarantine of supplied adulterated fuel affected by methanol.

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“The situation you are seeing today I assure you, by next week, will vanish. All things being equal, distribution issues that we may not have control over including movement of trucks, otherwise we have robust supply arrangement to make sure that we exit this issue.”

Kyari further assured that NNPC was doing everything possible to ensure that supply across the country is normalized, saying Nigerians should avoid antic, or panic buying of fuel.

Giving further explanation on how adulterated fuel got into the country, he said there is no way to determine if petrol being supplied to the country contains methanol because the country does not have the facility to detect such.

He said the loading terminal where the fuel was brought into the country has been supplying gasoline for a very long time, pointing out that, “they have been a major terminal supplying fuel to not only West Africa, but to many countries in Europe.”

Kyari further stressed that the order placed is significant enough to serve the country from the remaining days of February and, into March saying, “the scarcity was caused by factors NNPC may not have control over.”

Explaining how adulterated petrol found its way into the country, the GMD said Nigeria imports the product as it is not locally processed and some of them come from sources, not illegitimate.

“In case of all the problems we have seen, four of the cargoes that are particularly in question today met all criteria on arrival and that’s why they were allowed to discharge into terminals and conveyed into ship.

“There is no way, based on current specification, you will know this PMS contains methanol. It is not part of their requirements at the load port. So we didn’t ask them to declare whether it contains methanol because it is not part of our specification.

“Let me make it clear that methanol is not contamination, it is a regular addictive to PMS. In China up to 15 percent PMS contain methanol.

“On its own, it is not a contamination, the key issue is handling methanol. If we knew we will not accept this. Anytime methanol comes in contact with water it emulsifies, it turns into a different chemical.

“We know all the trucks that leave our depots, but we do not know where they end up. This is reality, there is no tracking mechanism to enable this.

“We also know that some of these products find their way in places that may not be in this country. I don’t have statistics to back this up, but I am sure, smuggling takes place,” he stated.

Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Abdullahi Gaya lamented the scarcity which led to long fuel queues that have recently caused gridlock in most major cities.

“Some fuel stations are locked while few that are opened, have long queues of motorists waiting to buy. This situation is not different in the capital city, Abuja, and our major cities where majority of filling stations are shut and motorists spend hours in the sun struggling to buy from few that are opened.

“It is a fact that this problem is as a result of importation of adulterated PMS which is confirmed to have high percentage of methanol.

“Though, methanol is a regular additive in petrol, but it’s usually blended to acceptable quantity.

“The recent supply are in excess of this additive of which its resultant consequences is injurious to our fragile economy and the generality of our citizens,” Gaya stated.

Recall that this situation has caused untold scarcity of fuel in Nigeria with long wait at filling stations and some, with broken-down engine as a result of adulteration.

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