The fuel queues, at filling stations, which started in the nation’s capital at the beginning of the week, continue, especially in major filling stations in the city. DAVID ADUGE-ANI writes.
Although the NNPC has repeatedly explained that the fuel supply and distribution challenges witnessed in some parts of the country was due to panic buying from motorists, the hardship has become intense. The group managing director.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru had called on Nigerians to stop panic buying as the corporation was doing everything within its reach to address the situation.
However, despite this explanation, the long queues in most filling stations in Abuja did not stop. A visit by LEADERSHIP Friday to some of the filling stations in the city centre, revealed that the queue is still continuing. For instance, at the Conoil Filling Station at Jabi Garage, it was a long queue, as motorists had to wait for hours before buying fuel.
One of the motorists, Reuben Acka, told our correspondent that he had waited on a queue at the filling station for about four hours before he was
able to buy fuel for his car. “My brother, it is not easy here getting fuel. I came here since 8am and I am just being attended to. It is unfortunate that we are going back to the old days of fuel scarcity,’ he said.
Also, at the NIPCO Filling station in Jabi, the story is not different as long queue is obvious. Motorists were seen queuing to buy fuel for their cars. Although the queue is not as long as the one in Jabi Garage, motorists insist that buying the commodity was not easy.
At the Total Filling Station at Area 11, adjacent to the Police Force Headquarters, many motorists were still on queue during our visit to the area. The queue has also led to the resurface of black market operators in this area.
LEADERSHIP Friday also gathered that some filling stations in the territory have ran out of stock, while some have simply refused to sell the product, due to the fear of the unknown. A motorist, Emeka Eze, told our reporter that he has visited about three filling stations in the city centre, but the stations have refused to sell their products, even though they have the stock.
As expected, transport fare in the city has increased from about 50 per cent to about 100 per cent. For a journey from Life Camp to Area I, which was N100.00 last week, it is now N150.00. Also, Mararaba to AYA, which was N100.00, is now N200.
A commuter, Samuel Ajah told LEADERSHIP Friday that the situation has brought untold hardship to many Abuja residents. “People are now being forced to spend what they did not budget for. Ajah called on the NNPC to make fuel available to Nigerians to reduce hardship facing commuters.
But only yesterday, the NNPC had announced that there was no plan whatsoever to increase the prices of petroleum products, both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide.
A statement by the corporation said that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre have not changed, noting that it has enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.
While assuring that the corporation has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders, including petroleum marketers and industry unions to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond, the NNPC enjoined motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumours of an impending fuel price hike as reported in some news platforms.
The corporation also noted that its downstream subsidiary companies, namely the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and NNPC Retail Limited, are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation during the yuletide period.