Excess Methanol Cause of Fuel Scarcity – FG

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The Federal Government says it has identified and subsequently dealt with what may have caused panic buying of petrol in some parts of Lagos and Abuja.

Responding to the resurgence of fuel queues in Lagos and Abuja, the CEO of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Mr. Farouk Ahmed said methanol quantity above Nigeria’s specification was discovered in a supply chain, which as since been isolated.

Mr Ahmed said while the quality control agencies of the government have swung into the action, NNPC Limited and oil marketers have been directed to ensure robust supply of petroleum products.

 “Methanol is a regular additive in petrol and is usually blended to acceptable quantity,” Mr Ahmed said at a press briefing in Abuja.

“To ensure vehicular and equipment safety, the limited quantity of the impacted product has been isolated from the market, including those loaded in trucks.

“Our technical team, in conjunction with NNPC and other industry stakeholders will continue to monitor and ensure quality products are adequately supplied and distributed nationwide. So there is no need to panic.

“The sole supplier has been identified and further commercial and appropriate actions shall be taken by the authorities and the NNPC.

“The NNPC Limited and all marketing companies have been directed to sustain sufficient distribution of petrol products in all retail outlets nationwide to avoid any scarcity.

“Meanwhile, the NNPC has intensified efforts at increasing the supply of petroleum products in the market in order to bridge any unforeseen supply gap.”

Fuel anxiety

Fuel queues had emerged on Tuesday morning in Lagos. This caused gridlock in major parts of the state affecting traffic movement.

Some fuel stations were locked while a few open ones had long queues of motorists waiting to buy fuel.

The situation was not different in the capital city, Abuja, and surrounding states where the majority of filling stations were shut and motorists spent hours in the sun struggling to buy from the few that were open.

The queues surfaced as the conversation over fuel subsidies continues to generate reactions.

The Federal Government had earlier hinted a removal of the subsidies in June but later walked back its decision amid pressure from labour unions.

Nigeria is one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil but struggles to refine the product locally.

A key refinery built by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is expected to ease the the demand for fuel imports when it begins operations later this year.

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