Why marketers refuse to take liability for importing adulterated fuel – Kyari
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari, has said marketing agents who brought in the adulterated fuel have refused to bear the cost of the fuel or take any liability.
Mr Kyari, who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), on Wednesday, said NNPC had asked the partners for ‘liquidation’ but they refused because they insisted they had mported the specifications it (NNPC) asked for.
The House had last week mandated the Committee to probe the importation of contaminated fuel into the country.
The lower chamber also asked the NNPC limited to suspend MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium, Oando and Duke Oil for importing the fuel.
The decisions followed a motion moved by Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno)
NNPC and the marketers have been trading accusations on who imported the fuel.
While appearing before the committee, Mr Kyari said the ‘partners’ maintained that they imported the right specification, and that the NNPC did not conduct test for mentanol.
He added that the partners also did not test for methanol in the product they imported, hence, the liability is to the loading point.
“What they (partners) are saying which we have accepted is that: ‘I brought the product that is based on your specification and therefore I did not bring the adulterated product’. This is the point they are making,” Mr Kyari said.
“I have also said that we didn’t test for methanol both at the load port and also by the NNPC and the regulatory authority.
“What they are saying is that what I brought met your specification.
“What they probably didn’t know is that it contains methanol and that methanol originated from the loading terminal. It is good to put this in perspective so that Nigerians are aware that what they (partners) are saying is that they have no liability.
“But it is nowhere sustainable because we have also filed liquidated damages which they can pass on until it gets to originating depot.
“We are not saying they know, but what we are saying is that the commercial partner of record that we have and it is their duty to transfer these liabilities to the origin of these products.
“We did not know that this product contain methanol. We did not know and your investigation will give you the reality at the end of the tunnel.”
Mr Kyari explained that the current scarcity is caused by the quarantine of the adulterated fuel.
“Once you have this situation and you withdraw volumes in the market, you will have supply disruption.
“We are very conscious of the consequence that will come with it. We have seen the disruption of the economic activities that are very obvious.
“Also the liquidated damages that can be a legal process that you may never be able to recover your position.”
Mr Kyari said measures have been put in place to ensure that importation of contaminated fuel does not occur again in future.
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