From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A group, the Movement for the Implementation of Methanol Fuel in the Niger Delta(MIMFIND) has accused the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority (NMDPA) for allegedly violating the national policy for methanol fuel production with the importation of bad fuel into the Nigerian market.
According to the group, despite the delay in the implementation of the National Policy on Methanol fuel production technology, which states clearly that there will be the blending of up to 15% of methanol fuel with gasoline to achieve a blend to be known as M15, the importation of bad fuel from Belgium and other countries is a criminal offence and one that violate existing clauses of the constitution.
The group in the statement signed by its national coordinator, Mr Stephen Okenarhe, challenged the Federal Government to explain rationale behind the importation of PMS blended with methanol into the Nigeria market.
“It is important to emphatically state at this juncture that according to the policy National Policy on methanol fuel production technology, the research for a methanol driven economy is to be coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The responsibility of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority is to regulate what has been put in place by other MDAs. It is therefore imperative that all parties must work together to ensure that we do not continue in the direction that led Nigeria into the importation of refined petroleum products. This must not continue. We have to ensure that we develop internal capacity in terms of local production to meet the local market demand.”
“The above brings to mind certain questions: What is the Nigeria PMS specification? When did Nigeria start the blending of methanol with fuel when the National policy for methanol fuel implementation technology is yet to be properly implemented? What is Nigeria’s methanol blend specification, and when was it set? The essence of this press release is to remind the authorities that MIMFIND will not sit and fold its hands and watch individuals and entities only interested in profiteering thwart the process of the proper implementation of the National policy on methanol fuel production technology,” he said.
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The group drew the attention of NMDPA to article 1.3.1 of the National Policy on Methanol fuel production technology, which states clearly that there will be “the blending of up to 15% of methanol fuel with gasoline to achieve a blend to be known as M15.
According to it, the phase is to commence with a seeding of the market through importation of methanol fuel in the first three years of the policy.
“The above simply implies that the blending of methanol and PMS (gasoline) is to be done domestically here in Nigeria. This is aimed at job creation and securing the economy. However, to the best of our knowledge as a movement, the process of blending has not yet commenced.”