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House of Representatives grills oil importers over bad fuel

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
23 February 2022   |   3:28 am
House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), yesterday, grilled officials of a consortium of oil firms, led by Emadeb Energy Services Limited, accused of importing bad fuel into the country.

[files] Federal House of Representatives PHOTO: Twitter

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House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), yesterday, grilled officials of a consortium of oil firms, led by Emadeb Energy Services Limited, accused of importing bad fuel into the country.

Members of the Abdullahi Mahmud-led committee demanded explanations on whether the fuel supplied was in line with laid down rules.

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.

He said: “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 explained that his firm engaged a reputable international company for delivery of all PMS cargoes to the country. He also craved indulgence of the lawmakers that Brittania-U be allowed to provide all answers to the controversy.

He said Brittania-U preferred to liaise directly with Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and took responsibility for all her transactions without recourse to the consortium.

He said the consortium successfully delivered 270,000 metric tonnes of PMS, while Brittania-U delivered 90,000 metric tonnes.

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

She said she was in possession of certificates issued to her firm by government’s quality inspectors. She said: “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.”

The chief operating officer of MRS, Amina Maina, also absolved her firm of blame, insisting that fuel imported into the country was in line with NNPC specifications. The lawmakers promised to study the presentations by the firms and respond accordingly.

MEANWHILE, Senate has confirmed the nominations of five executive directors designate of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

The confirmation followed consideration and adoption of a report by the Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) at plenary.

Those confirmed are: Francis Ogaree, Executive Director, Hydrocarbon Processing Plants, Installations and Transportation Infrastructure; Dr. Mustapha Lamorde, Executive Director, Health, Safety, Environment and Community; Mansur Kuliya, Executive Director, Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure; Bashir Sadiq, Executive Director, Corporate Services and Administration; and Dr. Zainab Gobir, Executive Director, Economic Regulations and Strategic Planning.