Fuel queues have resurfaced in different parts of Nigeria on Tuesday, leaving commuters stranded at bus stops as well as forcing motorists to spend hours at filling stations in a bid to buy the petrol.
Reports indicated that black marketers had a field day, selling a litre of fuel at N300-N400 in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun and Katsina as many motorists were forced to patronise them in order to avoid the unpalatable alternative of waiting for hours in filling stations to scramble for the product.
In Lagos, some filling stations reportedly sold a litre of the Premium Motor Spirit at N200/litre as against the approved price of N180-N185/litre while in Katsina State, operators of illegal fuel depots known as “Bubulutu” were said to be the only ones that sold fuel to motorists and other users of the product.
It was gathered that the few filling stations that still sold the product, especially in the state capital, only sold for a few hours before announcing to motorists that the product was no longer available.
Although the majority of the black market operators sold at N2,000 per four-litre keg, they still recorded heavy patronage due to the non-availability of the product in many filling stations in the state.
Oil marketers blame the xcarxity on low petrol supply by NNPC Limited.
Although spokesperson for the NNPC Limited, Garba Deen Mohammed, was not available to speak on the development, the National Operations Controller, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mike Osatuyi, said that there was no fuel in the country.
Osatuyi noted that most of his members were unable to get products at depots.
“There’s no fuel. The NNPC is the monopolist supplier and my members have been unable to get products,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority has appealed to Nigerians not to engage in panic buying of petrol, saying it had enough in stock.
The Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed in Lagos on Tuesday, said he had checked with MOMAN and the NNPC Ltd. on the level of fuel stock and confirmed that they had sufficient stock.
“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,” he said.
Ahmed assured that there was enough fuel and appealed to members of the public to avoid panic buying as all efforts were being made to resolve shortages in some filling stations in Lagos and its environs.