In a bid to forestall break down of law and order following protracted fuel scarcity in the country, the Director General, Department of Security Services (DGSS), Yusuf Bichi, has given the Nigeria National Petroleum Company LTD, major oil marketers and other stakeholders in the petroleum midstream and downstream chain 48 hours ultimatum to ensure free flow of supply of products to all parts of the country.
Bichi gave the ultimatum at a meeting with stakeholders, Thursday evening, at the DSS Headquarters, Abuja.
Addressing journalists after the meeting the DSS Public Relations Office (PRO), Dr. Peter Afunanya, said the service convened the meeting to consider the national security implication and dimension of the fuel scarcity.
The Spokesperson, who said the DSS was
constitutionally charged with the responsibility of detecting and preventing threats and crimes against the internal security of the country, noted that the meeting was convened in the spirit of its mandate.
Afunanya, who listed the agencies and groups in attendance to include Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Nigerian petroleum tanker drivers; Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN); and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG),said: “The service wasvery apt, clear and direct in telling all the stakeholders that it is enough and all the hurdles in the supply chain must be overcome.
“The message of the DGSS and the service is that Nigerians have a right to these products and whatever that is responsible for the scarcity must be overcome.
“We will not continue to tolerate the situation. All stakeholders must go above board to ensure adequate supply, sufficiency in supply and the service will collaborate with every stakeholder to ensure sufficiency.”
According to him, “The stakeholders were open and spoke to the issues and constraining factors were raised and agreed on pre-emptive steps to resolve the issues.
“One of the significant outcome is that there is sufficiency of the products in the country, they were unanimous on this despite other issues as well as that resolutions reached must be implemented.”
Speaking further he said the NNPC, which has over 1.9 billion litres in stock, made commitment that moving forward it would continue to supply products at official ex-depot rate to all marketers and decentralise its distribution of the products, especially in Lagos.
He said on its part, MOMAN made commitment to review, on daily basis, with the NNPC the distribution in order to resolve any pending issues with the distribution channels.
This is as it was also agreed that marketers would operate their depots 24 hours on daily basis, while the tanker drivers made commitment to ensure products are loaded and taken to appropriate destinations without diversions.
Afunanya, who maintained that the well being of Nigerians was of utmost importance, urged against allowing misguided citizens to use the fuel scarcity to incite violence, adding that the DSS would not give such opportunity.
While assuring that the DSS is to provide security to ensure seamless distribution of products, he said the agency boss warned that, “Overall fuel distribution must improve in the next 48 hours after which, as a matter of urgency and mandate, we will carry out operations across the country and not mind whose ox is gored if any group or individuals decide to be obstructive to the distribution.
“It will not be business as usual. We will commence enforcement and action. We have set commands and platforms on alert to get information relating to obstructive tendencies to the agreement.”