Despite the Department of State Services (DSS) 48-hour ultimatum to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and oil merchants to make Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol, available to Nigerians, the situation has remained unchanged.
It may be noted that the country’s secret police gave the NNPC and other downstream players a 48-hour deadline on Thursday to address the country’s ongoing gasoline scarcity.
The DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, claimed to journalists in Abuja that the ultimatum came after the agency had a closed-door meeting with stakeholders in the oil sector, who agreed to end the scarcity within the time frame specified.
However, oil marketers stated on Friday that distribution of the commodity was still a challenge, but that waits for the product at various filling stations will soon be gone.
Similarly, dealers affiliated with the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria threatened to cease operations if the NNPCL continued to deny them direct access to it for product payment.
A check on Saturday, however, found that many petrol stations in the nation’s capital and its surrounding areas have yet to begin selling the product to customers.
While some NNPC filling stations in the territory appear to have ample merchandise, many others continue to have enormous lines.
Some petrol stations in the satellite areas charge as much as N200 per liter, while stations in the city center charge between N180 and N190, which is higher than the official price.
The product sells for as much as N250 per liter or more in most South-East states.
When questioned about the next steps, DSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya stated that the Service’s ultimatum was already having favorable results. According to him, some outlet stations have been instructed to sell the product for 24 hours to reduce the length of the lines.