Petrol scarcity grounds Nigeria, sells at N1,500/litre

Acute shortage of petrol in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country has begun crippling economic activities across the country.

Tongues are wagging as to how the horror has persisted for close to two weeks and has defied solutions currently being administered by the government.

The price of the commodity ranges between N700 and N1,500/liter, depending on the city. Black marketers have capitalized on the ugly situation to rip-off hapless motorists. Indeed, it has been tales of woe for motorists across the country as majority are ‘detained’ for several hours struggling to refuel their vehicles. Those who need to power their generators in the face of worsening electricity supply are also peppered by the lingering scarcity.

Commuters are now being forced to trek long distances as transport fares are sky-high, forcing some SMEs to ration their operating hours while others that cannot cope have shut down to their respective business locations.

This was as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), warned that the fuel shortages will last for two weeks.

IPMAN Public Relations Officer, Chinedu Ukadike, said the product is not available in the country.

He said it has become a bit of a challenge to source the product because most refineries in Europe are undergoing turnaround maintenance.

In Lagos, the situation was chaotic as early as 6am due to early morning Monday rush which was compounded by fuel queues that disrupted vehicular movement.

On Oba Ogunji in Agege, the traffic built up from Odo Eran bus stop, stretching to the Pen Cinema Bridge due to the activity of the Mobil filling station at the intersection.

Some of the workers who had set out early to catch up with Monday meetings could not meet up as they were caught up in the traffic for several hours. Some of the commuters, who spoke to Daily Sun in separate interviews, said the man hour loss in traffic was hurting businesses and the economy at large.

According to Mrs. Adebisi Adeojo, she said the after spending over 3 hours at Ogba bus stop, she lost some of her orders as her customers had to leave in a hurry for other engagements.

For Mr. Adekunle Adeoye, the traffic builds up forced him to cancel two business meetings at Eko Hotel and Oriental Hotel, saying he had fixed both breakfast meetings since last week but could not meet up for the 8am appointment as a result of the chaos on the roads.

In Ebonyi and Enugu, fuel retailers are catching in the situation to exploit motorists as a liter of fuel is selling for N720 and N750 per liter, respectively.

In Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, the situation appears to have assumed a frightening dimension as hoarders, popularly called black marketers are now selling a liter of petrol between N1,200 and N1,600, as few fuel stations dispensing to members of the public are selling between N850 and N1,000 per liter, depending on the location.

A source at the As Dam Total Energies retail outlet in Ilorin who pleaded anonymity told Daily Sun that: “We have been in Lagos now since last week and there is no supply of petrol. The depot in Lagos is empty and several petrol tankers are on the queue ready to load, but there is no hope of getting petrol, because there is no product. A situation whereby demand is higher than supply, there must be consequences such as this.’’

Also, another source at MRS along Fate Road, Ilorin blamed the development on the delay by the Dangote Refinery to commence production of petrol.

In Markudi, the Benue State capital, a liter of petrol was selling for N750 and N800 as at Monday, while the mega marketers are selling at the official pump price; others are selling at N750 and N800 per liter.

A resident, Solomon Agav, lamented that the fuel situation in Makurdi is very bad, saying despite the removal of subsidy; they were managing to get fuel at whatever price but that the situation has gone awry now.

In Awka, the Anambra state Capital, the situation was however different as our correspondent observed that there were no queues at filling stations as fuel was selling at N720 per liter.

‘‘Motorists unlike before are not grumbling over the price, neither were they grumbling over the availability of the product. However, they pleaded with the federal government to hasten plans to end the unstable price of fuel and other petroleum products in the country,’’.


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