An official statement from the Federal Government of Nigeria has been issued to explain the current fuel shortages in the country. According to the government, it identified extremely high levels of methanol in one of its public supplies but claimed that it had been withdrawn and separated from other supplies.
Consumer complaints validated by the withdrawals have led marketers to consider suing the government for compensation. In a statement issued on Tuesday, 8 February 2022, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) said that Methanol supplies are very limited.
Methanol is commonly added to gasoline in acceptable quantities and is usually blended in. In part the statement reads: “To ensure vehicular and equipment safety, the impacted product has been removed from the market, including the trucks in transit. Our technical team in conjunction with the NNPC Limited and other industry stakeholders, will continue to monitor and ensure quality petroleum products are adequately supplied and distributed nationwide. “The source supplier has been identified and further commercial and appropriate actions shall be taken by the authority and the NNPC Limited. The NNPC Limited and all oil marketing companies have been directed to sustain sufficient distribution of petrol in all retail outlets nationwide.”
In response, the Independent Petroleum Marketer Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has called on Nigerians to refrain from panic buying and make do with what they have. IPMAN’s national vice president Abubakar Maigandi, who made the call, promised new products would be available in the next two days. According to him, the products they received from members of his group were poor quality, which put them into serious trouble since they were forced to repair customers’ vehicles when it wasn’t the fault of the companies.
During an interview with AriseTV, he said the government was working hard to make sure the error leading to the wrong specification of petrol being supplied in some regions of the country was corrected. “I can assure you that there is effort to clean up the mistake. There is no reason for panic buying, new products will be supplied to affected filling stations.”
In a separate interview with TVC, Mr Dele Tajudeen, South-West Zonal Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), demanded compensation from the NNPC.
He said: “We need to be compensated but we don’t want to put the masses in another crisis if we resort to going on strike, demanding compensation because we know people are already in a deep economic problem.