Before We Crucify Duke Oil

By Adewole Kehinde

Wherever you see persecution, there is more than a probability that truth lies on the persecuted side – Hugh Latimer

For the past few weeks, social media including the conventional media went above board to persecute Duke Oil as the sole importer of adulterated petrol into the country.

The height of the persecution is the accusation of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mal Mele Kyari as the “owner” of Duke Oil!

For clarification purposes, Duke Oil is an international oil trading company wholly owned by NNPC, which was established to serve as a vehicle for bringing NNPC directly in contact with the international oil market for strong internal competence and value-adding to its oil and gas business.

I must commend the Managing Director of Duke Oil, Lawal Sade, for his humility, honesty, charisma, and passion when he appeared before the House of Representative Committee on Petroleum Resources, Downstream investigating the importation of toxic fuel.

Responding to a question of whether information making the rounds that Duke Oil supplied the toxic fuel in circulation, Sade said that about 37,000 metric tons supplied has not been distributed.

He said: “That is false. We supplied almost 37,000 metric tons and this has not been distributed. it was quarantined. To the best of my knowledge, it is quarantined.

“Immediately we got communication that there is methanol in the product, we sent an email to PPMC to suspend loading the product until further recertification is done.”

He added: “Coming to the crux of the matter, the supply of the PMS to NNPC onboard NP Note gariner, with IMO no 947720 with a bill of lading dated January 7, just to give a background as well, In November 2021, NNPC issued a request as part of the strategic restocking to national energy security.

“Based on that subsisting contract with NNPC, Duke Oil engaged one of its registered counterparts and supplier, which is Sahara energy resources and it assigned a back-to-back contract for the supply of the Nigerian spec of PMS cargoes to fulfill the NNPC request.

“In line with the counterpart supply with Sahara energy, Sahara now nominated an empty note gainer as a performing vessel for the delivery of the first PMS cargo within.

“Mr. Chairman, yes, there was a delivery of cargo by Duke Oil like you have seen in the report and that cargo met up with the Nigerian spec as it is both at the loading and discharge ports.

“There was a confirmation by the regulator which is the new Nigerian Midstream, Downstream Regulatory Authority to discharge that cargo within the stipulated date.

“The cargo discharged and the vessel sailed. It was just after 24 hours of operation that Duke Oil was notified by the NNPC that there was a complaint from some of their customers that the cargo had some particles.

“With the notification from PPMC/NNPC, the management of Duke Oil immediately authorized the NNPC not to evacuate the cargo any further and requested for recertification.

“But it is important we reiterate the fact that the cargo has been certified by the midstream and then, there is a joint inspection before the discharge and the specification provided in the contract with NNPC meet up with the Nigerian specification.

It is unfortunate that those who are supposed to know better that by his position as the GMD of the NNPC, Mal Mele Kyari becomes a Director of Duke Oil and ceases to be one on retirement as the GMD.

Despite explaining to some of the fake news carriers, they decide to go around with the fake news without substantiating their fake news with any genuine facts.

I must commend the entire management of Duke Oil as the company refused to issue press releases against the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited unlike the other did but rather as a shareholder in NNPC, partnered with them to ensure that the quarantine process took place and as the supply of the last resort, Duke Oil gave back and ensure that there is a continuous flow of petroleum products across the country.

Duke Oil understood the hardship and inconveniences that resulted from the issue and took the necessary steps by creating additional layers.

Duke Oil deserves our commendation rather than condemnation. The Company was busy looking for solutions while others were looking for excuses and engaged in blame games.

I will end this piece by commending the Managing Director of Duke Oil, Lawal Sade, with the words of Owen D. Young “There is a single reason why 99 out of 100 average businessmen never become leaders. That is their unwillingness to pay the price of responsibility. By the price of responsibility, I mean businessmen driving continual work … the courage to make decisions, to stand the gaff … the scourging honesty of never fooling yourself about yourself. You travel the road to leadership heavily laden. While the nine-to-five-o’clock worker takes his ease, you are toiling upward through the night. Laboriously you extend your mental frontiers. Any new effort, the psychologists say, wears a new groove in the brain. And the grooves that lead to the heights are not made between nine and five. They are burned in midnight oil”.


Adewole Kehinde is the Publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached via 08166240846, 08123608662. E-mail:

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