Fuel scarcity persists in Abuja, Jigawa

Fuel queue09 March 2014, Abuja – Long queues were noticed in most petrol filling stations in Abuja at the weekend in spite of assurance of adequate supply by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Investigation by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, revealed that motorists queued for hours to buy fuel due to the scarcity of the product.

NAN also observed that the long queues caused serious traffic gridlocks, especially at NNPC stations.

At the NNPC mega station on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, motorists were seen driving against the traffic due to the scramble to enter the station through illegal routes.

The situation was also compounded by the queues at the Mobil station at the end of Zone 4.

Motorists had similar experience at Oando in Apo, Conoil in Area 1 and Area 10 in Garki, and Advance Link stations,

At Total in Central Area, the queue stretched for about one kilometre, forming a circle from NNPC Tower to Reiz Intercontinental Hotel and back to the end of Bureau of Statistics office.

One of the attendants who dispelled rumour of scarcity insisted they had enough reserve to dispense to motorists.

The story was the same at Mobil, Eterna, Conoil and Forte Oil stations at Obafemi Awolowo Way, Jabi.

Some attendants told NAN that they had been dispensing fuel to motorists because the product was available.

Mr Aderemi Ojo, a motorist, expressed surprise at the situation.

Ojo called on the relevant government agencies to step in and address the situation.

He said the resurgence of queues was a surprise as the NNPC said the fuel challenge in Abuja had been addressed.

Meanwhile, black marketers are making brisk business selling the product at exorbitant prices by the roadsides.

The sell10litres for between N2,000 and N2,500.

However, the Zonal Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources, Abuja, Mr Aliyu Halidu, said the agency sent out five surveillance teams to ensure that marketers did not hoard fuel.

He added that the products were being monitored from the depot to the stations to ensure that they were discharged appropriately.

He warned marketers against hoarding of products because DPR surveillance teams were on ground, stressing that appropriate sanction would be meted out to offending marketers.

NNPC, however, said it had commenced fresh measures to halt the artificially- induced scarcity noticeable in some parts of the country particularly in Lagos and its environs.

Some motorists and commercial motorcyclists in Dutse, appealed to the Jigawa State Government to intervene with a view to curbing the scarcity.

A cross section of them told NAN that the scarcity had affected their businesses.

Malam Sani Ibrahim, a taxi driver, said he had been queuing in the various filling stations without getting the commodity to buy for the past one week.

Ibrahim added that it had been difficult for him to feed his two wives and 11 children.

Another commercial driver, Nura Adamu, accused the oil marketers of hoarding the product in the state.

He appealed to the government and the relevant authorities to go round the filling stations and sanction those who had the commodity in stock but hoarding it.

Also, Adamu Seidu, a commercial motorcyclist, told NAN that he had been patronising black marketers who were selling at exorbitant prices.

Seidu said he was always left with a meagre amount to cater for his needs after each day’s work.

“This is a trying period for us the motorcyclists due to the fuel scarcity. Sometimes, I used all the money I make to buy fuel without any profit,” he said.

NAN reports that most filling stations were locked up on Friday as only the NNPC mega station was dispensing the product at the time of visit.

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