The Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday gave all parties involved in the fuel supply chain a 48-hour deadline to resume supplying petroleum products at the officially approved rate across the nation, or prepare to bear the consequences of their actions.
This move was apparently made in response to the country’s continued petrol shortage.
The DSS issued a warning that anyone discovered to be sabotaging the nation’s supply of petroleum products after the deadline had passed would be viewed as a danger to national security and subject to legal repercussions.
The DSS, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, big marketers, depot owners, tanker drivers, and individual marketers met strategically on Thursday at the DSS headquarters in Abuja and came to this conclusion.
Comments from DSS
Dr. Peter Afunanya, the DSS’s spokesperson, spoke with reporters after the meeting and said,
Since Nigerians have a right to always see and purchase fuel at the official price, the DSS said they have made it clear and straightforward in informing the players in the fuel distribution system that whatever is causing the country’s lack of petroleum products must be remedied right away.
The NNPCL and all parties involved agreed that there was enough fuel in the depots across Nigeria, and DSS made it clear to them that the government would no longer tolerate any form of scarcity. The fuel scarcity has also largely affected the DSS, touching on every core mandate of national security and the well-being of Nigerians.
“We sounded strong warning to all those concerned that it was no longer going to be business as usual in the petroleum supply system and that anyone who is obstructing the distribution of fuel will be made to face the full weight of the law and that such elements would be treated as enemies of Nigeria.
That going forward, the DSS is to carry out operations across the country to deal decisively with those obstructing the distribution of petroleum products to Nigerians at approved official rate,” said Afunanya.
The DSS is charged with the duty of looking into national crimes and economic sabotage, and if that is found to be true, we will go to great lengths to find those responsible and deal with them in accordance with Nigerian law. Detecting and preventing threats to national security is our primary responsibility.
“One of the major takeaways from the meeting was that NNPCL has more than 1.9 billion litres in stock which is enough to last through the yuletide and beyond, a figure duly confirmed by all the stakeholders in the supply chain,” Afunanya said.
The following resolutions were made at the meeting: “Henceforth, NNPCL is to continue to make fuel available to marketers especially Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, improve its distribution channels and network and to sell the products at approved ex-depot price to all marketers to impact positively on the marketers across the country, MOMAN is to review daily supply with NNPCL and to remove any form of bottleneck that may affect supply to all outlets in the system.”
“It was also resolved that marketers and tanker drivers were to provide 24-hour services while the DSS was to monitor compliance with the decisions reached and to deal with any form of sabotage.
NNPCL and others gave a strong commitment to ensure fuel availability now, during the yuletide and beyond by ensuring 24-hour logging while depot owners agreed to also open for business 24 hours with improved security to be provided by the DSS and others.”
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