*Says Brittania-U solely liable for supply of off-spec petrol
By Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi, the consortium accused by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) of being partly responsible for the importation of off-specification petrol into the country, Thursday described the allegation as misleading.
Instead, the group in a statement in Abuja released by the Lead Consortium, Emadeb Energy Services Limited, urged the NNPC to single out Brittania-U, an initial member of the coalition which opted out of the arrangement.
Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi stated that in several communications, it had notified the NNPC of the decision of Brittania-U not to abide by the consortium’s agreement, leading to deal that other members will not be liable for damages incurred by the company in the course of operations.
The consortium stated that the NNPC was aware of the refusal of Brittania-U to cooperate with other members by way of making information available when needed.
For days, the presence of bad petrol in circulation, has disrupted the country’s supply chain, causing long queues in several states of the federation and damaging car engines.
However, the NNPC alleged on Wednesday that from investigation, the product that had the presence of methanol in it, four petrol cargoes in all, were imported by MRS, Emadeb/Hyde/AY Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium and Oando.
Group Managing Director of the company , Mallam Mele Kyari, disclosed that the NNPC had ordered the quarantine of all un-evacuated volumes of the contaminated fuel that led to the disruption of the petrol distribution value chain, in order to prevent further distribution.
But the Emadeb statement stressed that the information released by the NNPC did not exactly represent what transpired.
It stated: “We refer to the press release of February 9, 2022 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited on the issue of contaminated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) with higher concentrates of methanol allegedly imported by Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi/Brittania-U Consortium.
“We hereby state that the said importation of the contaminated PMS was executed by a member of the consortium, to wit: Brittania-U.
“Therefore, the blanket claims made against the consortium by the NNPC are misleading and contradict the actual events that happened; they do not fully reflect and/or represent what transpired.”
The consortium stated that the clarifications relating to the delivery of the said contaminated petrol to the country were necessary to protect their image as they had invested a lot in building each member’s respective brands in the industry.
“ Brittania-U Nigeria Limited (Brittania-U) was the sole supplier of the 90,000MT of PMS delivered via MT Torm Hilde with laycan January 2 to 4, 2022.
“At the formation of the consortium in May 2021 by NNPC, Brittania-U refused to execute the Service and Consortium Agreement submitted to NNPC in fulfilment of the award of the DSDP contract,” it insisted.
Emadeb stated that as the lead of the consortium, it engaged Brittania-U severally and the company insisted on dealing with the NNPC independently of which the national oil company was expressly notified via a letter dated June 2, 2021.
Further, the consortium stated that Brittania-U vehemently refused to execute the Consortium Agreement with the other consortium members – Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi- saying it became surprising and frustrating to everyone.
“Brittania-U communicated all her actions to the other consortium members and NNPC harping on the following points: Brittania-U’s preference to perform a sole contract for crude lifting and PMS supply under the DSDP arrangement.
“Brittania-U’s choice to be solely liable under her supplies to NNPC and in the light of which she indemnified the other consortium members accordingly,” the statement added.
It stated that the alleged culprit further refused the nominated international partner agreed by other consortium members – Emadeb/Hyde/ Ay Maikifi.
Emadeb stated that Brittania-U failed to cooperate or share information and documents with the other consortium members in respect of the December 2021 crude cargo allocated to her by NNPC.
It stated that following the repeated refusal of Brittania-U to work with the consortium, it indemnified the other consortium members–Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi and the resulting agreement was executed by their company on June 16, 2021.
The indemnity clause, the consortium said, covered Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi against all damages, losses, costs and expenses.
It noted that this also included reasonable legal costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees and liabilities incident to claims, demands or causes of action brought by or on behalf of any person or entity as result of the performance of or failure to perform the project.
“The indemnity also covers shortages in delivery of products, late deliveries, delivery of off-spec cargo or other wrongful performance of their obligations in the DSDP agreement,” Emadeb insisted.
The consortium via a letter dated December 10, 2021 said it informed NNPC of non-receipt of information from Brittania-U on all correspondence relating to the DSDP crude cargo allocated to them.
In addition it said that it stated that Brittania-U’s action contradicted all efforts to ensure performance on her allotted crude cargo.
“In view of the notice of the contaminated product, Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi immediately notified Brittania-U via a letter dated February 3, 2022 and also expressly informed NNPC of the sole liability of Brittania U.
“Based on the substantial evidence provided to NNPC and several declarations by Brittania-U to NNPC, Brittania-U is therefore solely liable for the supply of the PMS via MT Torm Hilde.
“This is also demonstrated by their unwillingness to be part of the consortium; however, all the other parties were duly indemnified by Brittania-U.
“The other consortium members – Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi had performed and delivered 270,000MT of PMS in the last five months and they were certified by the NNPC-nominated inspector without any complaint or adverse issues.
“Out of the 270,000MT of PMS, 90,000MT is currently discharging via MT Fair Seas offshore Lagos. All records showing our performance are available with NNPC for verification and validation,” the statement said.
The consortium stated that it will continue to work with NNPC and perform creditably on all its obligations, positing that as reputable companies, they will not associate themselves with any activity that will be to the detriment of the citizens of the country.
“Emadeb/Hyde/Ay Maikifi believe that these stated positions of ours have demonstrated that we are not the suppliers of the said contaminated PMS.
“We are ready to give our full and maximum cooperation to any government investigation panel and or any agency with all the relevant documentation and or information that maybe required.
“We implore all our customers to continue to patronise all services provided by Emadeb/Hyde and Ay Maikifi,” the group concluded.