Adulterated Fuel: Group accuses NMDPA of violating national policy on methanol fuel in Nigeria

A group, the Movement for the implementation of Methanol Fuel in the Niger Delta has accused the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority (NMDPA), of violating the national policy for methanol fuel production with the importation of bad fuel into the Nigerian market.

The group said 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 violates existing clauses of the constitution.

The Movement for the Implementation of Methanol Fuel in the Niger Delta, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Stephen Okenarhe said the current administration has succeeded in telling everyone that they are now allowing the importation of blended methanol products into the Nigeria market.

“What is the rationale behind the importation of PMS blended with methanol into the Nigerian market? In our opinion, this is not in the best interest of our people, considering the fact that this will not help create jobs for our people, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the implementation of a methanol economy”.

“It is important to emphatically state at this juncture that according to the 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.

“Our position should serve as a caution note to every citizen of our great country. If we must have a better economy in the nearest future, then we all need to be participants in the proper implementation of the National Policy for Methanol Fuel Production Technology, because a methanol driven economy is the future economy. A limited quantity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as Petrol, with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification, was discovered in the supply chain. Methanol is a regular additive in Petrol and is usually blended in an acceptable quantity.

“The above brings to mind certain questions: What is the Nigerian 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 her hands and watch individuals and entities only interested in profiting, thwart the process of the proper implementation of the National policy on methanol fuel production technology”.

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“For the avoidance of doubt, it is important we draw the attention of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Authority 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. This phase will commence with seeding of the market through the 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. Therefore, is the authority making us understand by the press release that they have started allowing the importation of blended methanol (M) products into the Nigerian market? What is the rationale behind the importation of PMS blended with methanol into the Nigerian market? In our opinion, this is not in the best interest of our people, considering the fact that this will not help create jobs for our people, which is one of the cardinal objectives of the implementation of a methanol economy”

“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”.

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