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Scarcity: Fish out cabal hoarding petrol, retailers fault DSS ultimatum

The Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) has faulted the 48-hour ultimatum issued by the Department of State Services (DSS) instructing oil marketers to make petrol available for Nigerians.

Sunny Nkpe, PETROAN chairman, System 2E, eastern zone, said this on Monday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.

The association said until the secret police hunt down the cartel operating among private depot owners hoarding the essential commodity, fuel scarcity and long queues will continue. 

“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,” he said. 

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“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.” 

On his part, Peter Esele, a former Trade Union Congress (TUC) president, who also appeared on the programme, said the DSS must have been privy to important 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,” he said. 

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“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.”

Pervading the country, petrol scarcity has continued for weeks, with filling stations selling the product for as high as N250 a litre. 

To quell the scarcity, DSS had given a 48-hour ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and oil marketers to make petrol available to Nigerians. 

The DSS said the challenge of fuel scarcity had assumed a dimension that is detrimental to the security of the country.

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