MRS Oil Nigeria Plc on Wednesday denied reports linking it with the importation and distribution of substandard and contaminated Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) in the country.
The oil marketer said the fuel in question was imported by NNPC through their trading arm Duke Oil, and it was not the only distributor that got supplies, but that immediately it noticed that the product appeared hazy and dark; the management immediately directed that further sale(s) should be stopped and the product isolated.
MRS Oil in a notice at the Nigerian Exchange signed by Marco Storari, Managing Director, said other marketers that received the product apart from its 5,000 mt include OVH 10,000 mt; NIPCO 5,958 mt; and Ardova 6,000 mt.
“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,” the company said.
The vessel was said to have discharged the product in Apapa between the 24th and 30th of January, 2022 after which the major marketers received different quantities.
“As one of the beneficiaries, MRS received the product in its depot and distributed the product to only 8 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,” the company said.
“ 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 8 stations; we await approval from NNPC and NMDPRA for the return of the product. The 8 stations have been isolated, but there are other tanks within the stations, which will receive uncontaminated product for sale as soon as possible.”
The statement said in view of the above, it 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,” it said.
The company said the allegation 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.”