Oscarline Onwuemenyi Onwuemenyi 27 March 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – There are fears that impending fuel scarcity may mar Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections as long queues have surfaced in filling stations in and around Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
This is even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has called on members of the public to shun panic buying and stock-piling of petrol as there is enough stock of the product to keep the country wet for two months
Investigation by SweetcrudeReports revealed that the mad rush by drivers to buy petrol may also be associated with the desperation by some to get out of town before the elections due to fear of violence, especially in parts of the North that are noted as hotbeds of violence. Still, others just wanted to hoard the product over uncertainty of what may happen after the votes.
The situation has led some filling stations especially outside of the city centre to sell petrol over and above the official pump price of N87 per litre, with many selling between N95 and N110 per litre.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, stated that there was no need for panic buying among customers, noting that it has put the current stock of premium motor spirit (petrol) in its depots across the country at 1.9 billion litres.
It also appealed to tanker drivers who had stopped hauling fuel from depots in the coastal states to the Northern part of the country for fear of being caught in unfounded fears of post-election violence, to return to work as the Corporation is working closely with security agencies to provide maximum security for them.
The Corporation also cautioned marketers to desist from capitalizing on the situation to hoard and divert petroleum products thereby subjecting Nigerians to unnecessary hardship, adding that the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, has directed the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to sanction any marketer found hoarding, diverting or selling products above regulated prices.
The Corporation urged members of the public to discountenance rumours or insinuations of petrol scarcity as all issues relating to the importation of fuel by marketers have been resolved, stressing that the Petroleum Pipelines and Marketing Company (PPMC) has released a huge volume of petrol into the market.