By Rhiogbere Sharon

The Department of State Services (DSS) has fit out a 48 hours requisition to all stakeholders in the oil industry to rectify the ongoing fuel scarcity ravaging the country.

The secret agency forewarned that it would launch a nationwide operation on saboteurs should queues persist at various filling stations in the country after the ultimatum.

Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesperson, articulated this briefly after the Director-General of DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, met with major stakeholders in the oil industry at the agency headquarters in Abuja yesterday.

Stakeholders present at the meeting according to Afunaya included: Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), depot operators, among others.

He asserted that at the meeting, the DSS boss made it vivid to the stakeholders that “enough is enough”, iterating “we made it clear that whatever the hurdles are, they must be resolved,” also insisting “Nigerians have every right to access fuel.”
The DSS decided to intercede in the state of things because it has been mandated to investigate economic sabotage, not excluding discern and fend off threats to national security.

Though the agency may be unable to link the imminent fuel scarcity to economic sabotage, it is ready to take up the stimulus to curtail the situation.

According to Afunaya, the agency informed all involved parties that the DSS won’t persist in its forbearance to the recurring fuel scarcity, adding that all of them must go past their laurels to ensure adequate supply of petrol across the country.

Afunanya said NNPCL has agreed to sell fuel at the previous official price to marketers nationwide. NNPCL also affirmed that it has ample stock of product, to the tone of 1.9 billion litres for distribution across the country even until after the Yuletide period.

Afunanya queried the need for scarcity in the midst of abundance.

According to him, more agreements reached included “
NNPCL agreed to decentralise distribution of the product to all marketers.

“MOMAN and NNPCL from time to time will review the distribution chain to ensure that all bottlenecks concerning distribution are permanently resolved.

“There is an agreement that marketers will be operating for 24hrs on daily basis. The tankers also agreed that from now on all hands will be on deck to ensure lifting of the products.

Afunanya observed that IPMAN has also obligated itself to make certain that the product is accessible for 24hrs daily.

“For we at the DSS, we agreed to provide adequate security for fuel distribution.
“Therefore, we insisted that the fuel distribution must improve and all challenges eliminated in 48hrs, and after 48hrs, we will as a matter of urgency carryout operations across the country. And in doing this, we won’t mind whose oars is gored”, he declared.
Noting that it won’t be business as a matter of course, Afunanya said DSS commands and platform nationwide have been put on high alert, affixing that “they are to get information on any element who want to obstruct these efforts.”

He counseled Nigerians not to take laws into their hands, observing that the DSS had procured commitment from the stakeholders and all issues will be resolved within 48hrs.

People could capitalise on this to cause trouble. Therefore we will not allow anyone to use this opportunity to cause mayhem”, he added.

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