Adulterated fuel: Nigerians count losses


Following the importation of adulterated fuel into the country, which has caused major scarcity of the Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, in many cities, some stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to bear the responsibility by compensating those whose vehicles, generators and other valuables were damaged.

Recall that over 100 million liters of fuel recently imported into the country, were said to be adulterated, containing high methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification.

The development resulted in long queues at fuel stations in major cities across the country. President Muhammadu Buhari had called for thorough investigation into the matter to uncover personalities involved in the importation.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, and other related agencies had blamed the unfortunate development on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Meanwhile, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari shifted the blame on four oil companies: MRS, Emadeb, Brittania-U, Oando and Duke Oil.

However, with the exception of Duke Oil, the other three accused companies have all in writing, denied the allegation, thus creating more confusion in the drive to unmask shippers of the bad fuel.

Finding revealed that some vehicles, particularly in the nation’s capital are already parking up following the effects of the substandard imported fuel.

A taxi driver, Mr Andrew Nwoye, who spoke to our correspondent, said the fuel pump of his car got damaged two days ago after the vehicle consumed much of the toxic fuel.

“I just woke up on Thursday and discovered that my car could not start. I did everything I could in my own little knowledge but it was still not responding until I called an expert who informed me that my fuel pump has issues.

“This government has killed us. I’m sure that if not for their bad fuel, my vehicle would have been intact. Apart from the fuel pump, I have spent a lot of money on fixing the car, including my generator”.

A tricycle (Keke napep) driver, Mr Ayuba also said himself and others have been servicing their vehicles more frequently than before since the fuel issues began.

“I just noticed recently that my ‘Keke’ does not sound very well like before; I was advised to service it two days ago and the same thing has started again,” he lamented.

Another commercial driver, Amos Akogwu told our correspondent that he has abandoned his vehicle which he referred to as his only source of income in a mechanic village due to several faults emanating from the adulterated fuel.

Some stakeholders who spoke on Sunday, said that the Federal Government must compensate Nigerians for the damage caused by the bad fuel.

The National Coordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said there is need for the oil importers to enter into “constructive dialogues with government and the victims of their bad fuel on issues of compensations to stave off huge legal damages that may come up if the victims are forced to go to court”.

He called on the Federal Government, to as a matter of importance, work out and enforce systematic compensations of damages currently resulting from the use of the toxic fuel by Nigerians, adding that “the defaulting companies should be dragged to court by the government if they fail to compensate their victims”.