25 November 2015, Abuja—Respite seems not to be in sight for motorists, as the fuel queues worsened, yesterday. Motorists faced untold hardship in their quest to purchase Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol.
This was even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, increased its fuel supply to petrol stations across the country to 34.844 million litres.
The NNPC, in its ‘Daily Dispatch Report to Filling Stations for November 23, 2015’ released, yesterday, revealed that the amount of petrol lifted across the country on Monday, increased by 13.44 million litres or 62.82 per cent from the 21.4 million litres lifted Saturday and Sunday, November 21 and 22, 2015 respectively.
Giving a breakdown of the fuel lifted by petrol stations on Monday, the NNPC stated that Suleja, Kaduna, Kano, Minna and Gusau Area depots dispatched 6.55 million litres, 2.563 million litres, 6.269 million, 0.406 million litres and 2.779 million litres respectively.
In addition, oil marketers lifted from Mosimi, Satelite, Ore, Ibadan, Gombe, Benin and Warri depots, 2.16 million litres, 3.411 million litres, 0.513 million litres, 0.672 million litres, 0.909 million litres, 0.930 million litres and 0.930 million litres respectively.
Others are Port Harcourt depot — 2.339 million litres; Aba depot — 0.749 million litres; Makurdi — 1.622 million litres, while Enugu depot dispatched 2.034 million litres to petrol stations in Enugu and environs.
Despite the increase in fuel supply, most of the petrol stations along the Abuja – Keffi Expressway were shut due to unavailability of the petrol, while the only filling station selling the product, as at the time vanguard visited Nyanya, AA Rano, was besieged by a large crowd of motorists.
Mobil and Forte filling stations at Jikwoyi in Abuja were not selling as at 1pm, while the NNPC mega station at Nyanya remained shut for the umpteenth time.
At the NNPC Mega station along the Kubwa Expressway, the queues which have remained a permanent feature worsened as the scarcity bit harder.
The situation was no different at the Conoil and Total filling stations directly opposite the headquarters of the NNPC, as the queues leading to the stations stretched for miles across four streets, and almost going round the stations twice.
Also, at the NIPCO, Oando and Forte Oil filling stations, at Utako, near the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, long queues of vehicles were struggling to purchase the product which has become very scarce.
Black marketers were seen at the front of almost all the petrol stations in Abuja, hawking fuel in 10 litres plastic containers at exorbitant prices, ranging from between N150 per litre and N200 per litres.
Even at the front of the NNPC headquarters, the black marketers continue to ply their trade unhindered, providing an alternative for motorists who could not afford to spend several hours queuing for fuel.
Despite the Minister of State for petroleum Resources’s directive to the DPR to increase their monitoring activities, the DPR office in Abuja appeared to be unconcerned about the situation, as filling stations owners continue to hoard the product, hike the price of the product and also engage in other sharp practices.
Some motorists told Vanguard that some petrol stations were in the habit of selling the product in their tanks to black marketers in the dead of the night, while they claim they do not have products to sell to motorists during the day.