*As regulator keeps mum

By Udeme Akpan, Energy Editor

THE present petrol scarcity in some parts of the country is a result of adulterated fuel in circulation, Vanguard investigation has revealed.

It would be recalled that fuel scarcity and long queues of motorists were first noticed in Abuja two weeks ago before the queue fizzled out last week.

Similarly, the long queues for petrol hit some parts of Lagos last weekend, especially on the island and are yet to abate.

Investigation by Vanguard showed that the bad or poor quality product was noticed a week ago as many automobiles were affected in Abuja, Awka in Anambra State and other parts of the nation.

It also revealed that relevant authorities which got to know about the development decided to stop or reduce distribution for proper investigation.

This culminated in the emergence of long queues in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun and other states.

The National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, told Vanguard on phone last night: “We have heard that narrative in the past one week.”

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Another industry leader, who pleaded to remain anonymous, said: “We had a call from Abuja complaining about the poor quality of petrol.”

The 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.

The PPPRA spokesperson, Kimchi Apollo, could not be reached, yesterday when Vanguard called repeatedly for response.

But the National President, Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria, OGSPAN, Colman Obasi, said: “Indeed, it is sad that that our nation has degenerated to this level. In stead of embarking on industrialisation, including the construction of new refineries, we have degenerated to a point of importing  and distributing poor quality products.

“NMDPRA is supposed to be the watch dog in the sector under the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA. Where is the agency? It has something to tell Nigerians.

“There are indications that shutdown of our refineries and massive importation have opened our nation for suspected bad products.

“The regulatory agency and other government institutions should work toward ensuring that only quality petrol and other products are imported into the nation. We need to protect our citizens and the nation’s economy from danger.”

However, in a report, obtained from its website,  NMDPRA, stated: “the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority was created in August 2021 in line with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 which provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry as well as development of Host Communities.

“Consequently, Mr President approved the appointment of Mr. Farouk Ahmed as the Authority Chief Executive of the NMDPRA as conveyed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva to run the day-to-day affairs of the new regulatory authority. 

“NMDPRA’s encompasses a merger of three defunct regulatory agencies: Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalization Fund {Management} Board (PEFMB), the Midstream and Downstream Divisions of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). This birth has ushered a new dawn for establishing a progressive regulatory framework that encourages investment and full optimization of the midstream and downstream sector of the petroleum industry in Nigeria.

“The Authority is responsible for the regulation of the midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria which includes technical, operational, and commercial activities.”

VANGUARD NEWS NIGERIA

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