The Federal Government yesterday said it has began a probe of the importation process of the polluted Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) now in the country.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed this to State House correspondents, also hinted that the government may compensate motorists whose vehicles were affected as a result of the usage of the product.
Sylva, who spoke after the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President at the State House, Abuja, said, “The issue did not come up in Council, but of course, you will recall I was here yesterday to brief Mr President on the issue. I’m not in a position to disclose the identities of the companies, but there are some issues and we are actively tackling it.
“Nobody has, before now, checked for methanol in our fuel, it’s not very usual, and this is the first time this is happening, and NNPC is very much up to the task. I will also convey your question to the NNPC and maybe the Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, but we’re actively handling it, and I want to assure you that the problem will be a thing of the past very soon.”
“There’ll be a major investigation to unravel everything, and then let’s really get to the bottom of it before we can come back and tell you what is going to happen to the culprits.
“We know that some people’s vehicles must have also been damaged; that is also going to be taken into consideration in dealing with the situation.”
Meanwhile, the NNPC, through its spokesperson, Garba-Deen Muhammad, stated on Wednesday that the oil firm had released products to help reduce the queues seen in Abuja and other parts of the country.
Also speaking on the attacks on filling stations by motorists, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said the situation grew worse on Wednesday.
He said, “There are customers who have problems with the products they bought and are suing our retail outlet owners. They are already arresting retail outlet owners and not the NNPC, but obviously, it will still get to them (NNPC) if we cannot resolve it.
“Right now a lot of arrests have been made. That is why we are concerned and always request that we should be taken along so as to get early information.
“Retail outlet owners are being arrested now and this is because when the vehicles of customers get bad they will try to hold somebody accountable. And that is happening across the country.”