Adulterated Fuel: House of Representatives interrogates oil importers

Officials of a consortium of oil firms, led by Emadeb Energy Services Limited who were charged with importing bad fuel into the country were yesterday questioned by the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).

Led by Abdullahi Mahmud, members of the committee demanded justifications on whether the fuel supplied had met the requirements of the law.

Adebowale Olujimi, who appeared on behalf of Emadeb/Hyde and AY Maikifi, absolved his firm of blame, maintaining that the fuel, alleged to be methanol-blended, was solely delivered by Brittania-U via MT Torm Hilde in January 2022.

According to him “The other consortium members were not privy to arrangements for delivery of the aforementioned premium motor spirit (PMS) and documentary evidence relating to the same.

“We also believe you will let our citizens know that we were not part of the companies that imported the alleged methanol-blended PMS.”

Olujimi clarified that his firm employed a reputable international company for delivery of all PMS cargoes to the country.

Also, he craved indulgence of the lawmakers that Brittania-U be allowed to provide all answers to the controversy.

He asserted that Brittania-U chose to liaise directly with Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and took accountability for all her transactions without recourse to the consortium.

Olujumi further added that the consortium successfully delivered 270,000 metric tonnes of PMS, while Brittania-U delivered 90,000 metric tonnes.

However, the chief executive officer of Brittania-U, Uju Ihejirika, affirmed that none of her firm’s cargoes contained bad fuel from the port of loading in Antwerp Belgium.

According to her, she was in possession of certificates handed out to her firm by government’s quality inspectors.

“We have all our documents. Was methanol part of the specifications? No! Can you change the goalpost in the middle of the match? No! What we are saying is you cannot jail or throw us into the sea without hearing from us. We have our own test results. He who alleges must prove.” she said.

Also, the chief operating officer of MRS, Amina Maina absolved her firm of blame, insisting that fuel imported into the country was in line with NNPC specifications.

The lawmakers vowed to study the pressntations by the firms and respond accordingly.

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