The Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) on Monday, faulted the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Department of State Service (DSS)
To Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) and marketers to make fuel adequate for Nigerians.
The Association said until the secret police go after the cartel operating among private depot owners hoarding the essential commodity, fuel scarcity and long queues will persist.
PETROAN Chairman, System 2E, Eastern Zone, Sunny Nkpe, made this known on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
“Let me make it categorically clear here: there is no amount of threat by DSS that is going to change anything. If it must change, they must start from the source; they should go to the private depot operators to find out where for now we are getting products from.
“Until the cartel or cabal in that area is handled or taken care of, we can never get any reduction or fairness in the distribution of the product,” Nkpe said.
He also said there has not been a drop of petrol allocation to the Port Harcourt depot in the last six months.
A former President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Peter Esele, who was also a guest on the programme alongside Nkpe, said the DSS must have been privy to a vital piece of information within the supply value chain to have issued the ultimatum.
“For DSS to come out and issue an ultimatum, the DSS must be privy to some information…Everyone must focus on the DSS to come out with its results within 48 hours or else, DSS may also be a player in the game.
“DSS must tell Nigerians its findings within 48 hours and whoever is behind this should be prosecuted because there are enough products in this country for everybody to get petrol,” he said.
The DSS had on Thursday directed oil marketers and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to resolve the fuel crisis biting Nigerians, saying failure to comply will make the agency activate its operations across the country.
DSS Spokesman, Peter Afunanya said the challenge of fuel scarcity has assumed a dimension that is detrimental to the security of the country.
For weeks, vehicle owners especially in Lagos and Abuja have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations. Whilst many outlets are closed, the few ones that are open sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The shortage of supply has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market. The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.