Members of the Association of Mega Filling Station Owners of Nigeria have expressed their readiness to name those behind the lingering fuel scarcity facing the nation.
Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday, Kenneth Nwachukwu, the National Secretary of the Association of Mega Filling Station Owners of Nigeria (AMFSON), has said that its members are ready to name those behind the lingering fuel scarcity if only they mention it directly to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and he promises to guarantee their safety afterwards.
The AMFSON also alleged that several trucks of fuel had been diverted into black markets by the perceived saboteurs at the detriment of mega stations owners and Nigerians in general, adding that the inability of their members to access their fuel papers several months after depositing millions of naira for supply had contributed immensely to the current fuel crisis.
He pointed out that it was to avoid something like fuel scarcity that the immediate past government established mega affiliate stations in order to cushion its negative effect on Nigerians.
According to Nwachukwu, even with AMFSON, the situation persisted unabated, saying, 'the minister, who is also the Group Managing Director should address the plight of our members to help in ending the fuel crisis.'
He said, "The minister said we should mention names, but you know Nigerians, when you come out in public to mention names of the saboteurs, they can go after you, so it is something that if it is possible to do one on one with the minister and assure of our safety, we can tell him, there is nothing to be feared because we have evidence of how fuel is being diverted into the black markets.
"We have evidence of everything we are saying about this fuel crisis. The minister said we should mention names that if we mention names, the person will not last 24 hours. But it is not proper to mention names in public, we are giving information, it is left for the minister to go underground and work on the information and get to the root of what we are saying.
"This is corruption in the highest order. We are now crying out, we met twice with the minister and we told him that NNPC retail staff have refused to bring us into the mainstream of fuel distribution. But they can’t be the accused and the judges at the same time. Sometimes it is our names they use in bringing out that product, but it never got to us.
"When we met the minister for the first time, around October last year, we discovered that the NNPC Retail staff deceived him to embark on building new 800 filling stations, but it does not make sense to build 800 stations when the old ones on ground have not been serviced.
"So when we met him, we told him about our own plight, that these staff believe that NNPC Retail belongs to them, and not to the Nigerian people, they believe it is their birth right, these are staff that are earning salaries.
"We told the minister of our problem that these staff refused to work with us as an association, they prefer to work with us on individual basis, so that if you are dying as an individual, you can’t talk, and if you talk, they drive you out of the business."