Amid consistent claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that it has enough stock of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol, fuel queues returned to major parts of Lagos and Abuja at the weekend.
The development has left many filling stations with long queues of vehicles waiting in line to get fuel, thus compounding the traffic situation.
Filling stations around Abule Egba, Ogba and some parts of Ikeja are currently battling with shortage of petroleum products.
In Abuja, the queues at the filling stations around Dutse and Kubwa expressway had reached a frightening level and were caused mainly by panic buying, a development the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had warned motorists against.
A marketer who spoke to Daily Sun in confidence said there was shortage of supply at the depots, saying the NNPC as the sole importer of petroleum products have failed to supply them with the right quantity.
‘‘What you are witnessing started about shortly before the 2019 elections. I think the NNPC relaxed or should I say their efforts were concentrated elsewhere. At that period, we were being under supplied. We never got the quantity we paid for.
This situation somewhat led to a hike in the ex-depot price of petrol from N132.000 to N140 per litre and it is expected that they should sell at N145 per litre. By the time they added transport margin and other ancillary cost, there was no way they could sell at the government approved price of N145 per litre. Some will even prefer to lock up their station, rather than incur losses,’’ he said.
But, the NNPC in a statement on Friday by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, appealed to Nigerians to disregard report of an impending fuel scarcity, saying it has over one billion of petrol in stock while imports of 48 vessels of 50 million litres each have been committed for the month of April 2019 alone.
He warned that there was no need for panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products in anticipation of a phantom scarcity.
Corroborating the claims of NNPC, Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Clement Isong, and the President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, said there is no fuel scarcity but panic buying.
Isong said vessels are discharging while the depots are wet with petroleum products and equally pumping out same to marketers.
‘‘I am just coming from the Airport and the filling stations from the Airport to Ikoyi and Victoria Island are dispensing fuel. I can confirm to you that there is no fuel scarcity. All MOMAN depots are working as I speak. Maybe it is just because we are approaching Easter.’ the MOMAN boss said.
Source: The Sun