FG Orders Probe Into Importation Of Adulterated Fuel

Written by on February 10, 2022

Irked by the embarrassment caused the country in the last few days, the Federal Government has launched a probe into how adulterated fuel found its way into the country.

Although the matter did not come up for deliberation at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, the matter had already been tabled before President Muhammadu Buhari, who gave an express order that an investigation be launched to unravel the circumstances into how the bad product got into the petroleum market chain.

Recall that in the past few days, long queues had resurfaced around major fuel stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja, following the withdrawal of about 100 million litres of contaminated petrol, which caused scarcity of the product. To this end, motorists have also complained of damage to their vehicle engines owing to the bad fuel.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, who gave an insight into what transpired at the meeting, said the decision to probe followed a briefing on the issue to President Buhari by him on Tuesday, with the aim of getting to the bottom of the matter. Sylva, however, cautioned against drawing conclusions prior to the completion of the investigation.

His response came following questions from State House correspondents if the issue came up for discussion at council meeting and if the suppliers will be punished.

The minister said: “The issue did not come up in council, but of course, you will recall I was here yesterday to brief Mr. President on the issue. I’m not in a position to disclose the identities of the companies, but there are some issues and we are actively tackling it. “Nobody has, before now, checked for methanol in our fuel, it’s not very usual and this is the first time this is happening and NNPC is very much up to the task.

“I will also convey your question to NNPC and maybe the Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, but we’re actively handling it and I want to assure you that the problem will be a thing of the past very soon.”

He gave assurance that government will consider compensating those who may have been adversely affected by the bad fuel. On possible sanctions for the companies, he stated: “I didn’t expect you to rush to any conclusions.

There’ll be a major investigation to unravel everything and then let’s really get to the bottom of it before we can come back and tell you what is going to happen to the culprits.

“We know that some people’s vehicles must have also been damaged, that is also going to be taken into consideration in dealing with the situation.” The Minister of State also spoke on the approval granted to his ministry by the council, saying that FEC closed out the contract for the construction of the 17-storey local content building in Yenagoa at the cost of N1.817 billion. He explained: “You will recall that in 2020, Mr. President already commissioned that project.

There were some ancillary works, that had to be done to connect some of the buildings and that was now presented to the council for the sum of N1.817 billion this now closes out this contract and we have told the contractor this is the full and final payment for everything. “So, this is the end of this project and we have completely delivered this to Nigerians.”

Again, FEC approved the application of 286 foreigners and found them to be worthy and eligible citizens of Nigeria henceforth. Among the new citizens of Nigeria are Americans, Arabs, and Asians. The development which may come as a surprise to many Nigerians was announced by the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola. He explained that the approval for the foreigners came following security clearance by relevant authorities in the country.

Aregbesola said the council considered a report presented by an Advisory Committee on Nigerian Citizenship which had submitted same to the ministry after a thorough scrutiny of the applicants who sought to become Nigerians. He said, “This is the first set, by the end of this first quarter or latest by the middle of the year another set will be presented to council. “We received 600 applications from several people, foreign nationals who have been residing in Nigeria, but desirous of being Nigerians.

These applicants are from virtually every part of the world. Americans, North and South Koreans, Australians, Europeans, Arabs, Asians, and South Africans. “Out of the 600 applicants, the advisory committee approved for the consideration of the council 280. Before the presentation, some agents of government scrutinised these applicants. The agencies are the Department of State Services, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the state of domicile of those individuals.

“The state will give us their record of relationship from the community to all the levels in the state to be sure that they are men and women of integrity and good character. So, it is all of these that the advisory committee looked at to shortlist and recommend 280.” Aregbesola explained that the grant of Nigerian citizenship was in two categories, saying, “There are those that we consider for naturalisation. And there are those we consider for registration, the women.

“They are women married to Nigerians, they are called Naija wives, who besides having the right of residency and movement, without any restriction or without the requirement of visa to and fro the country, are desirous of being Nigerians. “So, they become Nigerians, they get a grant of citizenship by registration.

Whereas foreign nationals who are desirous of being Nigerians, without necessarily being wives of Nigerians, are given citizenship by naturalisation. “So, the number of those who are granted Nigerian citizenship by naturalisation through the consideration of their applications is 208.

While those who are granted citizenship by registration are 78. So, today FEC approved the grant of citizenship to 208 applicants for naturalisation and 76 applicants for registration making a total of 286 people out of 600 who applied for our citizenship as eligible to be fully processed through application of oaths and certification thereafter with renunciation of citizenship that is not acquired by birth.”

In his presentation, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said FEC approved a contract for the replacement of Aviation Operations (AvO) at the cost of N12,097,215,800.09. He explained: “So, today in council, a memo was presented by us in aviation. And the amount of the contract awarded whose purpose is to replace our AvO bridges is N12,097,215,800.09, which is for 12 months and it will include 7.5% VAT. “This contract is not only for supplying but it’s also for installation and maintenance, including spare parts, and is awarded to a company called Gulf of Africa International Limited.”

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