15 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – LONG queues have resurfaced in most of the fuel stations in Abuja and it environs, a fulfillment of earlier warning by oil marketers of an impending fuel scarcity over non-payment of their subsidy claims by the Federal Government.
There were long queues of vehicles in some fuel stations in Abuja on Wednesday while other stations were locked, the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports.
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, had earlier warned that there would be fuel scarcity if their claims were not paid.
The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA, Jetties and Petroleum Tank Farms Owners of Nigeria, JEPTFON, also gave similar warning.
The associations on Wednesday gave the warning in an advertorial captioned: “Warning of Imminent Fuel Crises in Nigeria. ”
They called on the Ministry of Finance to pay their legitimate subsidy claims within seven days or risk fuel supply crises.
The MOMAN’s Executive Secretary, Mr Obafemi Olawore, told NAN that its members were yet to be paid its subsidy claims for this year, despite assurances from the Federal Government.
He appealed to government to immediately pay their claims so as to avoid fuel crises.
Olawore said marketers were ready to resume importation of the petroleum products in the interest of the nation as soon as their claims were paid.
However, Mr Ibrahim Isa, the Station Manager of Conoil Filling Station, Central Area, said the queues started building up on Tuesday due to their inability to get the product from the Sulieja depot.
He attributed the scarcity to the strike by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and other unions over non-payment of their claims.
“The report I got from my head office is that NUPENG is on strike but I don’t actually know the reason behind the strike,” he said.
He said the station had not received the product since Monday because the tanker drivers had refused to bring the product from the depots.
He stated: “Since Monday no truck has been allowed to go out of the depot, what the filling stations are selling up to this moment are the products we received last Friday.
“Between Friday and now, no truck has been allowed out of the depot that is why you can see the queues around”.
He called on the Federal Government and relevant agencies to ensure the speedy resolution of the impasse so as to ensure fuel supply.
Mr Boniface Agla, a civil servant, criticised the long queues of vehicles in filling stations in different parts of the country and called on the NNPC to address the problem.
Mr Mohammed Jibril, a taxi driver, also called on government and relevant agencies to resolve the impasse because of it negative effects on transportation.