Fuel Scarcity Again? Here’s the Full NNPC Gist

February 10, 2022

Nigeria is one of the leading oil producers in Africa, but you’re probably reading this on a fuel station queue that leads to Jericho. 

Pele dear. While we can’t help you hold the fuel attendant’s shirt when they tell you there’s no more fuel, we can tell you how this fuel scarcity mess started again. Here’s the gist, but first, a little backstory.

Who runs things and why does the price of fuel change?

As regulator, and resident big boys of Nigeria’s petroleum sector, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) manages the country’s refineries and is the only importer of petrol in Nigeria. 

Before becoming the sole importers of petrol, there were other marketers importing the product. Nigeria used to run on a subsidy scheme that allowed other marketers in the country to buy fuel directly from the international oil market at the landing price (initial cost) and resell at a cheaper price to you. The NNPC made this possible by covering the cost. 

Let me explain

If the international market was selling petrol at ₦174 per litre and Nigerians bought at ₦142 per litre, the difference is paid off by NNPC. That’s what oil people call fuel subsidy. There are claims that this wasn’t a real thing, but it was always a part of the national budget.

After a few years, the government had to shake things up because people were hiding subsidy money inside their agbadas. Marketers also struggled to maintain access to the international oil market as the dollar went up. These issues influenced the periodic cycles of fuel scarcity we’ve experienced over the years. So in 2017, the government made the NNPC Nigeria’s only importer.

When the NNPC took over, Direct Sale and Direct Purchase (DSDP) was initiated. It’s like trade and barter: NNPC gives refiners an amount of crude oil and they return petrol of the same value to NNPC and selected distributors to sell at subsidised prices.

Do you feel like an oil guru yet? 

Now to the juicy part.

On Monday, Nigerians woke up to knocked engines and soon the internet was host to a number of videos of angry Nigerians demanding an explanation for these issues that followed buying fuel in their cars. As tension continued to rise, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) confirmed  suspicions. 

The fuel in circulation had been contaminated with an alarming percentage of methanol, above Nigeria’s approved specification. With this announcement, filling stations who believed they had received thos contaminated fuel started to sell less or not at all while the issue is resolved.  

So, who’s taking the fall for this oversight?

After being tagged in multiple videos online, MRS made the first move on Monday, to let us know that this saga had absolutely nothing to do with them.

MRS put out a statement that basically said, “The NNPC is the sole importer of fuel so please don’t drag us for rubbish.” They claimed that they were not aware of the contamination when they received the petrol supply shipped from Belgium by the NNPC’s trading arm, Duke Oil. 

Next on the podium of accusers was the Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari. In his statement, Kyari claimed that MRS are dirty liars and are the ones to blame. He also threw in Oando, Duke Oil and a consortium consisting of Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U into the mix of people to hold accountable. 

Who’s to blame now?

We thought the mind games were over until a journalist, David Hundeyin, came out with incriminating details that questioned the credibility of NNPC in a tweet.

The tweet mentioned Duke Oil again, but this time, in association with a shady law firm called Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee, in Panama. From Belgium to Panama. 

While we know nothing significant about this entity that has worked with NNPC since 2015, David Hundeyin drops the main bombshell that leaves me questioning why I’m still here typing. Apparently, the law firm is associated with crimes in Panama.

 .

From what we’ve gathered, they have been implicated in criminal acts associated with money laundering. Allegedly, they have helped at least 160 politicians and public figures with the creation of offshore shell companies meant to hide money in a tax haven. According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), their clients have included world leaders like Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Montenegro President Milo Djukanovic and Jordanian Kind Abdulla II. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

The end

So why is Nigeria’s regulatory body for our most lucrative resource associated with a company linked to this firm? 

There are no answers from NNPC yet.

What do we know for certain? Crazy things are happening and you need to know them too.

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

November 28, 2022

Just hours to the planned November 26, 2022 resumption of operations on the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor, the Federal Government announced a postponement. It’s not the first time the government has postponed a planned resumption since terrorists attacked the railway corridor in March. But more than the government’s erratic announcements and postponements, Nigerians remain worried about […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 7, 2019

These days, everyone is always talking about how much sex they’re getting, or how little sex they’re getting, or how disgusting sex is etc. There’s just so much talk about sex, it’s almost impossible to know who’s lying and who’s telling the truth. In anticipation of our new series about the sex lives of young […]

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

October 29, 2019

We are going to be attempting to guess when you’ll marry based on your favourite Nigerian foods. What does your fave swallow have to do with when you’ll tie the knot? Please, don’t ask complicated questions. This quiz is rigorous and accurate (don’t quote us), so just take it already. QUIZ: Why Do You Have […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

More from Citizen

November 28, 2022

Just hours to the planned November 26, 2022 resumption of operations on the Abuja-Kaduna railway corridor, the Federal Government announced a postponement. It’s not the first time the government has postponed a planned resumption since terrorists attacked the railway corridor in March. But more than the government’s erratic announcements and postponements, Nigerians remain worried about […]

November 27, 2022

It seems like Nigerians aren’t the only ones concerned about the 2023 elections, even our colonisers have taken some interest as well. Considering that our immigration rate to the United Kingdom has increased to 64% in one year, it’s not exactly surprising. The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has warned all political parties […]

November 25, 2022

Just three months to the start of the 2023 elections, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, started a beef with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). It wasn’t about electoral violence or vote buying but rather a new feature of the 2023 elections. The APC national chairman believes Nigeria […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X