Fuel scarcity persists in Lagos, Abuja, others
Punch, 11 Apr 2016
Fuel scarcity continued across the country on Sunday as hundreds of motorists and other petrol users formed long queues at the filling stations that dispensed the product.
This is contrary to the promise by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, that the queues would disappear in Lagos and Abuja last Thursday and by the weekend in other parts of the country.
While petrol was sold on Sunday at the approved prices of N86 and N86.50 per litre at the few Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation mega stations and independent marketers’ outlets in the Lagos and Abuja city centres that had the product, it was offered for between N180 and N220 to desperate buyers by independent marketers on the outskirts of the cities and other states such as Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Kwara.
Oil marketers, however, expressed the hope that the queues should disappear this week as they said that additional product would come into the country, while those cleared over the weekend would be distributed.
As it has been the norm for the past two weeks, motorists and other petrol seekers were sighted at filling stations belonging to the NNPC, major oil marketers and a few independent dealers.
For instance, on the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Abuja, filling stations belonging to the NNPC, Conoil, Nipco Plc, AA Rano and Total had long queues of motorists on Sunday.
The same situation was observed on the Abuja-Keffi road in Nasarawa State, as hundreds of motorcycle riders besieged the NNPC mega station that dispensed petrol at the approved price.
However, a few filling stations in remote locations such as Kubwa, Bwari and Dutse sold the product at rates far higher than the approved price.
In Sango, Ota, Ijoko, Mowe and Ibafo, which are communities in Ogun State, petrol was sold on Sunday at between N180 and N200. There were, however, no queues at many of the filling stations.
The situation was the same in Oyo, Osun and Kwara states, where the product could be obtained with relative ease at between N190 and N220 per litre.
On whether the scarcity would end this week, a marketer with Nipco Plc told one of our correspondents that there was hope that the situation would improve compared to what obtained some weeks ago.
The marketer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “I can’t say the queues will clear completely this week, but there is hope that it will reduce considering the serious collaboration among stakeholders to address this situation.
“We are also expecting additional product and the clearance procedures of vessels is being fastened so that products can be distributed quickly to help reduce the scarcity. So, we hope the situation will improve this week.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has commenced the release of loading tickets for petrol to members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria as part of efforts to address the scarcity of the product as well as settle the 7,000 pending tickets meant for IPMAN.