By Levinus Nwabughiogu
The House of Representatives has exonerated the four oil marketers/importers alleged to have imported adulterated fuel into the country.
The companies included Duke Oil, MRS Oil and Gas, Oando Oil and Emadeb and Energy/Hyde/AY.
It will be recalled that the House had mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) to investigate the circumstances surrounding the importation of the toxic fuel that caused damage to vehicle engines and occasioned queues at gas stations across the country for months.
Moving the motion for consideration of the report, chairman of the committee, Abdullahi Gaya, said: “That the House do consider the report of the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) on the Need to Investigate the importation and distribution of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, into Nigeria and approve the recommendations therein.”
Considering report of the committee, yesterday, the House approved one of the recommendations that the oil companies were not culpable.
The clearance was, however, premised on the testimony of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC.
The House also called on the Minister of Petroleum Resources to “expedite action for completion of the rehabilitation work and ensure upgrading of the major refineries at Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna to meet AFRI5 specification to boost local refining and reduce over-dependence on imported PMS into Nigeria to avert recurrence.”
Other approved recommendations as contained in the report included: “That the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources should initiate the adoption of the 2017 PMS Standard (NIS 116:2017) as approved by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) which include testing for methanol for future importation of the product into the country to mitigate recurrence.
“That the Federal Government should position the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to implement its mandate to the latter by subjecting all imported white petroleum and other products to the offshore conformity assessment and also resume routine quality control of them and other products imported into the country at our various seaports, airports and borders throughout Nigeria as enshrined in the Standards Organisation of Nigeria enabling Act of 2015. This will finally address the reoccurrence of the importation of off-specification PMS and other substandard goods into Nigeria.”
“That based on the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited exoneration, the Four (4) Oil Marketers/Importers (Duke Oil, MRS Oil and Gas, Oando Oil and Emadeb, Energy/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Britannia-U Consortium) did not commit any offence, therefore not recommended for suspension;
“That the Federal Government is to note that the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) mandate is also specifically enshrined in item 62 (d) of Part I of the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List), to the 1999 Constitution;
“That the Regulatory Authority in this case, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, should ensure proper housekeeping by working with depot and petroleum products.”
Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in ensuring water is drained regularly out of the tanks in the Tank Farms, Tankers (trucks) and underground tanks at the service stations;
that the Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) Limited shall maintain local supply and distribution of 90 Million liters daily across the country until normalcy is restored.
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