Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Fuel scarcity lingers nationwide

Fuel scarcity
Motorists faced hard times as the fuel crisis situation continued across the country over the weekend with long queues witnessed in almost all the petrol stations selling the products.

The situation was worsened by the fact that a number of the petrol stations were shut, with the attendants claiming that they do not have products in their tanks.

Motorists besieged the few petrol stations that are selling the product, spending between four and six hours on the queue in some cases.

At the NNPC mega station, Katampe, along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, about 300 cars were on the queue struggling to buy the products.

A similar scenario was witnessed in almost all the petrol stations dispensing the product at the Central Business District.

At the NIPCO petrol station at Arab Road in Kubwa, large number of vehicles were struggling to purchase the product, leading to a gridlock which made it difficult for other road users to ply the road.

In Gwarimpa, most of the petrol stations were shut, while the few that had the product were besieged by a large number of motorists.

Same situation played out in Utako, Jabi, Maitama, Dutse, Garki, Nyanya, Wuse, Asokoro and Airport Road among others.

To make matters worse, a number of the petrol stations besieged by motorists were dispensing fuel to vehicles using only two pumps.

The situation has seen a rise in fuel hawkers across Abuja, with majority of them plying their trade in front of petrol stations and major roads across the Federal Capital Territory.

In Lagos, most of the filling stations remained locked while the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) outlets, which are the only ones dispensing the product, have long queues.

Investigation showed that petrol stations along FESTAC, Apapa, Badagry, Surelere, Itire, Amukoko areas of the state sold fuel at N100, as against the official price of N87.

For instance, Mobil and Total, Kirikiri road were selling at N100 per litre with long queues stretching across express roads leading to disruption in the flow of traffic.

Speaking on the development, a motorist, Mohammed Yusuf, told Vanguard that the scarcity has subjected transporters to untold hardship as it has over the weekend become very difficult getting fuel to carry out their businesses.

A motorist, Yusuf Samaila, said he was at a filling station along the ever busy Apapa-Oshodi expressway for more than two hours and was not able to buy fuel.
He said: “I do not know why we suffer for basically everything in this country. There is no frequent power supply and now that we have a generator to use, getting fuel is also a problem. I have been on the queue for more than two hours.”
Also, a commercial bus driver, Olu Akinyo, stated that it was unfortunate that Nigerians were experiencing fuel shortage, noting that the scarcity had encouraged sharp practices by petrol attendants, who now make brisk business.
Akinyo, while lamenting that a litre of petrol now attracts over N100 at some filling stations against the official price of N97, said: “I have been on this queue for about an hour before I was able to buy petrol. This is very bad.”
Another motorist, Wale Shogunle, said he was not happy with the fuel scarcity as it had disrupted his business, stating: “As a businessman, I operate a viewing centre, where you can watch football and play games but now, the business is affected because of scarcity of fuel.”

Some commuters complained that they now pay more with a trip from Ikotun to CMS on Lagos Island, which used to cost N300 now attracting between N350 and N400, while some petrol attendants disclosed that they were selling at the price they got the new stock, which according to them, was now higher.

In Owerri, Imo State capital, many of the fuel stations did not open while the few that attended to motorists sold petrol at between N150 and N170.

The situation was the same in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital as most of the filling stations have remained shut to customers for about four days.

Credit: Vanguard

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