NNPC, marketers have 48 hours to end fuel scarcity – SSS

Nigeria’s secret police has threatened nationwide operations to end the crisis that has lasted months.

The State Security Service has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and fuel marketers to resolve the ongoing petroleum scarcity in the country.

The secret police, which is also known as the Department of State Service (DSS), said it will “commence operations” around the country if the problem persists after two days.

“We would commence operations across the country if after 48 hours and there are still queues at various filling stations in the country,” Peter Afunanya, spokesperson for the agency, told journalists after a meeting with NNPC officials.

“Because this challenge of fuel scarcity has assumed a dimension that is detrimental to the security of the country,” he said.

He said the NNPC had confirmed that it has sufficient fuel to serve the country during and after the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Nigeria’s unrelenting lingering fuel scarcity became worse in recent weeks as several filling stations failed to sell petroleum products.

The government initially claimed the problem was caused by flooding, but the shortage has continued long after floodwaters receded.

Daily, Nigerians queue for long hours at filling stations to buy petrol for the cars and generators. Others patronise vendors who sell petrol in gallons in the so-called black market.

The government has failed to act to end the shortage, repeatedly giving false assurances that it has sufficient stocks and buyers should not panic.

In the mix, fuel marketers have increased prices at which they sell the products without action from the authorities which maintains it has not increased prices from N162.

Many filling stations in the APO, Wuse, Gwagwalada and Banex areas of Abuja sold petrol at prices ranging between N179 and N210. Outside Abuja, residents said fuel stations sold petrol for N270 in many states.

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