This is the third time DSS has intervened to end fuel scarcity since 2015
On Thursday, December 8, Nigeria’s Department of State Security (DSS) issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and oil marketers to put an end to the ongoing fuel scarcity across the country or risk the intervention of the DSS.
The directive: Peter Afunanya, the spokesperson of the DSS, stated that there are 1.9 billion barrels of petroleum in stock, according to the NNPC.
He further stated that oil marketers will be operating for 24 hours on daily basis to ensure that demands are met. Meanwhile, tanker operators will be on deck to ensure the lifting of the products. He also said:
- “Similarly, the NNPC agreed to sell at an ex-depot price. It also agreed to decentralize distributions to impact positively marketers. On our part, we agreed to provide security for the seamless distribution of the products across the country. The distribution must improve and all challenges must be eliminated in the next 48 hours after which as a matter of urgency we will carry out operations across the country not minding whose ox is gored.”
Past interventions: In January 2018 under the Maikanti Baru-led NNPC, the Federal Government enlisted the DSS and other critical stakeholders to put an immediate end to the fuel scarcity. Also, during the same period, the Ogun state government enlisted the state DSS as well as other stakeholders and gave them a 48-hour ultimatum to put an end to the lingering fuel scarcity in the state.
- In November 2015 under the Ibe Kachikwu-led NNPC, the DSS was also called in to intervene in the fuel scarcity crisis. The DSS, alongside the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was authorized to check the hoarding and diversion of fuel by oil marketers. They also monitored nationwide fuel trucks out to retail outlets.
- In March 2015, some parts of Northern Nigeria experienced fuel scarcity. In that case, the DSS only released a statement urging people to step out to buy fuel as residents in the Northern part of the country were afraid of being victims of electoral violence. At the time, the DSS said the petrol scarcity was premised on fear of post-election violence.
- The then spokesperson of the DSS, Marilyn Ogar said the National Association of Transport Owners (NARTO) was afraid of being caught in likely election violence as was witnessed in 2011.
- The DSS observed that the build-up of queues at petrol stations was because trucks that would have loaded products from the South for distribution in the North were reluctant to do so. The service, however, assured NARTO of adequate security.
In case you missed it: The NNPC had promised in September 2022 that the company had adopted measures including the extension of the Direct Sales Direct Purchase (DSDP) contract by six months, to sustain the supply of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also called petrol, throughout the country.
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