Petrol scarcity resurfaces in Lagos, others

Unwieldy fuel queues are back

Petrol scarcity resurfaced yesterday, grounding commercial activities in Lagos and Ogun and other states in the country, even as shortages in Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger enter the fourth week.

This created long queues of vehicles and other consumers scrambling for the products at filling stations in many locations, leaving commuters stranded for hours at the bus stops, while transporters took advantage of the situation to hike fares.

Also, black marketers also cashed in on the situation, as many motorists were forced to patronise them, selling a litre of premium motor spirit (PMS) also called petrol at above N300 per litre depending on the location.

Oil marketers say they are helpless, as many of them do not have enough stock to meet demand, since the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), have been the sole importer of petrol since 2015.   

From now till tomorrow the situation will be back to normal. I don’t know what is happening but we are on top of the situation.

Corroborating, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN), admitted to supply glitches leading to shortages and attendant price hike at the depots.

The National Operations Controller of IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, in a statement in Lagos yesterday, said as a result of the unsteady supply, depots prices had risen from N165 to between N177 and N178 per litre in Apapa and its environs.

“The marketers will only sell what they buy. If the price of petrol increases, we add our transportation cost and other charges to the selling price,” he added.

He also appealed to the NNPC and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), to ensure adequate supply of petrol to ease scarcity across the country.

However, the NMDPRA appealed to Nigerians not to engage in panic buying, saying there was enough volume of the product in stock.

The Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, was quoted as saying that both the NNPC and the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), had confirmed that they had sufficient stock.

He said: “l spoke with the MOMAN’s Executive Secretary this morning and he told me they have sufficient stock. I have directed them to start evacuating the product immediately to filling stations.

“NNPC has also confirmed sufficiency and they have commenced evacuation. From now till tomorrow the situation will be back to normal. I don’t know what is happening but we are on top of the situation.”  

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