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How NNPC imported adulterated petrol into Nigeria, causing panic buying – MRS

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It has come to the knowledge of MRS Oil Nigeria Plc that ‘MRS’ has been quoted, used speculatively on various social media platforms and in other national dailies as being solely responsible for the importation and distribution of substandard and contaminated Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) in the country.

We want to reassure the public and all relevant authorities, that ‘MRS’ is a responsible corporate citizen and will not be involved in the purchase, importation, distribution or marketing of substandard petroleum products in Nigeria.

It is therefore necessary that any media, reporting this false information which has resulted in the defamation of the Company’s brand and image, must immediately refrain from doing so and endeavor to check the facts before printing unauthenticated information and statements, which would affect the goodwill of the Company and the investing public.

For this reason the Management of ‘MRS’ writes to inform the public of the facts which has resulted in product scarcity in the country: Due to current subsidy regime, NNPC is the sole supplier of all PMS in Nigeria. Consequently, NNPC through their trading arm Duke Oil, supplied a cargo of PMS purchased from international trader Litasco and delivered it with Motor Tanker (MT) Nord Gainer.

This vessel discharged in Apapa between January 24 and 30, 2022 and the following Major Marketers with receiving quantities were the recipients of the product:

OVH 10,000 mt;

MRS 5,000 mt;

NIPCO 5,958 mt;

ARDOVA 6,000 mt;

TOTAL 10,000 mt.

As one of the beneficiaries, MRS received the product in its depot and distributed the product to only eight of its stations in Lagos. Following delivery into tank, it was observed that the product appeared hazy and dark; Management immediately directed that further sale(s) should be stopped and the product isolated. Urgent steps were taken to analyze the product to determine the basis for its contamination.

The product analysis revealed that the PMS discharged by MT Nord Ganier had 20% methanol, which is an illegal substance in Nigeria. As a Company, we are aware that alcohol/ethanol is not permitted to be mixed in PMS specification. We immediately informed NNPC, NMDPRA and MOMAN and it was confirmed that other Members had similar experiences.

As at the time of this Press Release, ‘MRS’ had a total of 350,000 litres in tank at the eight stations; we await approval from NNPC and NMDPRA for the return of the product. The eight stations have been isolated, but there are other tanks within the stations, which will receive uncontaminated product for sale as soon as possible.

In view of the above, ‘MRS’ will continue to work with NNPC and NMDPRA, for the evacuation of the contaminated product to NNPC, who is the sole supplier of the product. We are aware that NNPC has taken necessary steps to reject further imports of this product from Litasco /Duke Oil and/or any other trader, supplying fuels which contain ethanol/methanol into Nigeria.

The allegation reported against the Company that ‘MRS’ imported contaminated products, is therefore mischievous, false and untrue. ‘MRS’ is not an importer of this contaminated PMS into the country, nor does ‘MRS’ sell substandard products.

We are by this Press release, informing the media and general public that all products currently dispensed/sold out of all MRS stations (with the exception of the recent product received from NNPC), are on-spec and are of the highest quality.

We implore our esteemed customers to continue to patronize ‘MRS’ stations nationwide, while we assure you that any and all product(s) currently sold are not contaminated.

ALL CONTAMINATED PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN ISOLATED AND WOULD NOT BE SOLD TO THE PUBLIC.