Nigerians may once again battle with the hardship of getting Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol, considering the emerging queues in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, and Port Harcourt fuel stations.
The scarcity according to reports, is extending to other major cities in the country beginning with Ekiti State, where a crowd of customers gathered on Saturday, April 13. Platinum.ng observed that most fuel stations in major towns of the state were closed, including Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
In Lagos, the queues were noticed on the night of Thursday, April 11, with an increased number on Friday in some stations along Ikorodu and Awolowo Road in Ikoyi, causing traffic problems in the neighbourhoods.
The scene was not different in Abuja, especially within Wuse 2, Central Business District and Wuse Zone 4 were seen to have long queues of vehicles for petrol.
In Port Harcourt, some petrol stations have already increased the pump price of the product from N155 to N157 per litre, while other dealers along Aba, Ada George Roads and environs have locked up their stations.
We also gathered that transporters, including the popular ‘okada’ riders in Ondo state capital, Akure on Saturday, increased their fares by N50 to make up for the time they spent in getting fuel at the station.
In Ibadan, the Oyo state capital, long queues emerged on Friday evening with motorists struggling to purchase fuel at major filling stations where the product was available.
In one of the stations located along Obafemi Awolowo road, the entrance gates were locked even as the queues of motorists stretched more than 200 metres.
Other filling stations in Mokola, J. Allen, Molete, Challenge and Eleyele that were selling fuel had long queues of motorists to contend with.
One of the petrol attendants while lamenting the ugly development said Nigerians should pray that the commodity “is available and not about the price”.
According to him, “What is important is that we should pray that filling stations have fuel to dispense no matter the price that it would be sold.”
Most of the fuel stations owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and major marketers, which opened witnessed long queues with motorists and cyclists spending hours on queue.
However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Friday, April 12, said the queues were as a result of panic buying of petroleum products, insisting that there was no looming scarcity, as the Corporation had reserves of a billion litres of petrol.
The NNPC also asked Nigerians to disregard trending social media reports of an impending fuel scarcity due to purported refusal by some oil marketers to lift products from depots.
Its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu said in a statement that such reports were fabricated by mischief makers with intent to create undue panic in petrol supply and distribution across the country.
According to the corporation, there are over a billion litres of petrol in stock, with an additional 48 vessels of 50 million litres each expected in the country this April.
The NNPC thus stated that there was no need for such panic buying or hoarding of petrol because there was no product scarcity expected.
It also assured consumers of the product that the pump price of petrol was still N145 per litre. The corporation had earlier in the week cautioned depot owners or terminal operators not to sell petrol above the official ex-depot price of N133.28k per litre.
It stated that the subsisting ex-depot petrol price of N133.28k per litre was consistent with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency’s (PPPRA) template and should be adhered to, adding that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) would move against operators that flouted the approved ex-depot price.