The Federal Government on Tuesday announced that it had increased the testing parameters that must be met before imported Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, and other petroleum products would be allowed into Nigeria.
It said this became necessary following the widespread hardship caused by the importation of methanol-blended petrol into Nigeria in January this year.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Babatunde Irukera, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja, explained that the adulterated petrol was imported into Nigeria because of the country’s limited testing parameters for petrol.
He said, “What happened here is that there are parameters that they check and there are others that they do not check because they are not applicable and methanol is not applicable.
“What we did is that in our engagements with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, was that we should increase the testing parameters more than what they used to be.
“So we are checking far more parameters to ensure that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again.”
On holding those who imported the bad fuel accountable, Irukera stated that the NNPC was looking at the issue, adding that the FCCPC would support the oil firm.
“I believe that that is happening. The NNPC met with them. We are supporting that process. But what we look out for, are consumers who suffered injury or equipment damage.
“We’ve put up a portal to harvest those complaints so that we can escalate them,” Irukera stated.
He further noted that the commission had frozen about 30 bank accounts operated by illegal loan organisations.
The FCCPC boss said, “The day we conducted the raid, we have some limited information about the bank accounts that some of the loan companies operated. All the bank accounts that were provided were immediately blocked but these companies operate multiple bank accounts with multiple names.
“Between the time we raided and now, we have discovered additional 30 accounts and all have been frozen and we will continue to freeze as we discover them.”
He said the commission was certain that with the actions it had taken and the nature of the engagement it was having with the loan companies, adding that the impact would be positive on the Nigerian economy.