Abdullahi Mahmud Gaya, Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), yesterday, summoned stakeholders of oil firms reportedly responsible for supply of bad fuel into the country.
Gaya, who disclosed this during an investigative hearing on importation of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in Abuja, stated that it was incumbent on officials of the firms to state their roles in the issue.
He repeatedly noted the decision of the House to provide solutions to challenges of fuel supply in the country. He said: “Even though methanol is a regular additive in petrol, it is usually blended to acceptable quantities. The recent supply is injurious to our fragile economy and the generality of our citizens.”
But Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Mr. Mele Kyari, who stood before the lawmakers, discharged his outfit of blame since it was not aware of the presence of methanol in the fuel imported.
Acknowledging that methanol is one of the additives used during the fuel refining process in Europe and China, he promised the lawmakers that the crisis would not occur again.
In his words: “We regret this situation, which is unavoidable. We didn’t see it coming and we apologize to Nigerians.”
In another development, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration against “its continued insensitivity to the feelings of the people.”
The opposition party noted that Nigerians are gradually being pushed to take to the streets against increasing sufferings and unbearable conditions, most especially in the face of an alleged attempt “to shield APC leaders behind the importation of toxic fuel into the country.”
In a press release by its national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the party also berated reported “moves by APC interests to further siphon money from the national coffers by seeking to draw a staggering N201 billion under the pretext of cleaning up the poisonous fuel, instead of exposing the culprits and getting them to bear the cost.”
PDP said: “Is it not saddening that the APC administration has continued to turn deaf ears to the cries by Nigerians to end its corruption and treasury looting spree and ease the suffering of the people, occasioned by its sleaze and manifest incompetence in governance?”
It noted that Nigerians were surprised when news broke over the weekend that NNPC was seeking approximately N201 billion to clean up the adulterated fuel.
PDP alleged: “It is clear that this is another ploy by officials of APC administration to continue to pilfer the national treasury to fund APC’s rigging plans ahead of the 2023 elections, as well as finance the wasteful lifestyles of it leaders at the detriment of other Nigerians.”