The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, is set to be queried over the circulation of off-spec petrol products.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the order on Wednesday.
The adulterated fuel was reported on Monday, affecting the supply chain and causing long queues in Lagos and Abuja as filling stations shut down to clean up tanks.
Thisday reports that, a presidency source disclosed that Buhari felt that the agency — which by law acts as the “police” of the downstream and midstream sector — should be the starting point for unfolding the importation and subsequent circulation of the product.
On Tuesday, the agency confirmed that petrol, with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification, was discovered in the supply chain.
NMDPRA is responsible for the regulation of the midstream and downstream petroleum operations in Nigeria, including technical, operational, and commercial activities.
Buhari, who was said to be bothered about the situation, instructed Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for petroleum resources, to ask Ahmed to explain how the product came about, with immediate effect.
The report also revealed that the response of the agency would determine which other government agency or private individuals would be sanctioned.
“This matter has become an embarrassment to this government. There’s no question that these cargoes of petrol were bad, so he (Ahmed) is being queried over how the fuel came into the country and the president has so instructed,” Thisday quoted the presidency source as saying.
“The reason the midstream/downstream authority is being queried first is that for now, the bulk stops at its desk. They are the first port of call. Ordinarily, they are expected to know how it came into the country,” the presidency source added.
“This is because they are the police of the industry. How did it get past them into circulation? It is their job to know. They are the police who should stop bad fuel from coming into the country.
“So, the NNPC has not been queried for now. The question now is who certified the product clean enough to come into the country?.
“When the investigation is done, then the federal government will know where the blame lies, but for now, the NNPC is just a company and doesn’t necessarily owe allegiance to government as it were, because it’s now just like every other company with a profit motive.”