Black marketers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, yesterday, resurfaced in major highways in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
New Telegraph’s investigation across various spots and locations where fuel were been dispensed at roadside showed a 10-litre fuel in jerry can sold between N4,500 and N5,000. Few petrol hawkers seen on the streets were making brisk business as they sell one litre of petrol between N400 and N500.
The assurance by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it had yet to effect increment in ex-depot price of PMS couldn’t calm the chaotic situation that has engulfed fuel scarcity. Most filling stations in the city shut down while few functional ones that sold were besieged by long vehicular queues by motorists.
Consequently, hundreds of residents and commuters were stranded at various bus stops in Abuja yesterday as a result of fuel scarcity and long queues in most filling stations in the nation’s capital.
At Shema Filling Station located along Katmpe hill of Maitama district, our correspondent observed that the station sold product to motorists using one dispensing pump. Other pumps remain inactive.
The vehicular queue stretched from inner circle of the filling station to the main road. Similar chaotic situation took place at next filling station, AA Rano located a few distance meter away to Shema Filling Station. At Dan Oil located along Gwarimpa expressway, same situation held.
Also, a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who went round the Airport Road and the major highways in Abuja, observed that few petrol stations were dispensing to motorists amid long queues. Along the Airport Road expressway, petrol stations such as NIPCO, NNPC, Conoil and Mobil had long queues, while black marketers were selling fuel a few distance from the stations.
On the Kubwa Expressway, many petrol stations such as Gegu Oil, AA Rano, Shema and NNPC petrol stations had long queues with people selling fuel outside the stations. At the Central Business District stations such as Conoil and Total also selling, but with long queues. Most of the black marketers, who refused to disclose how they sourced the product, were seen along the Kubwa Expressway and Gwarinpa Estate.
They were selling 10 litres of petrol for between N5,000 and N6,000. New Telegraph’s check show that the surfaced long vehicle long queues were more terrible at stations located at Kubwa expressway, Central Business District and some other mega stations in Wuse. Investigation also revealed that most of the stations that were shut to customers, actually have enough products in their reservoir, but are deliberately hoarding them.
A manager in one of the filling stations in Central Business District of Abuja, who pleaded anonymity, said that independent marketers have resolved to keep their products until the outcome of the meeting with relevant authorities. It was also learnt that the independent marketers were expecting that a litre of fuel would be hiked above N200 this March.
Commenting on the development, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, the President, Independent Petroleum Marketing Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said that the queues would disappear as its members would soon start dispensing products to motorists. “I think Nigerians should stop panic buying; the NNPC has assured us that it will not increase the ex-depot price of PMS in March. “Some of our members, who stopped selling for fear that they may not be able to buy product have agreed to start selling. “I am sure that by Tuesday, things will normalise because the NNPC said that there is 40-day product sufficiency in the country,” he said.
A taxi driver, who identified himself as Abel Maduka, said he had been at the fuel station since morning to buy fuel to be able to do his business, and after spending a long time he was yet to buy.
“Not all the fuel pumps are selling, and, therefore, the queue is not moving. Big cars come in through the other gate, making the poor suffer and this is not fair.
“I pray that the government addresses this soon,” he said.