A civil servant, Mr. Micheal Ogoh, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the scarcity of the product was frustrating commuters and affecting socio-economic activities in Abuja.
“Nigerians are just suffering unnecessarily. How can we continue to experience fuel scarcity on a regular basis and the government appears helpless? “This situation has already resulted in a sharp increase in price of transportation and civil servants find it difficult to cope,’’ he said.
A lawyer, Mr. Andrew Omoh, also expressed disappointment at the fuel situation.
He wondered why an oil producing country like Nigeria could not find a lasting solution to perennial scarcity of petroleum products. “It is a major embarrassment that an oil producing country like Nigeria cannot find solution to this recurrent fuel situation,’’ he said.
He advised government to fix existing refineries and also build new ones as a permanent solution to the recurrence of fuel scarcity.
Meanwhile, black market operators are exploiting the situation by dispensing fuel to motorists in major streets in the territory at N200 per litre.
One of the black marketers, Mr. Adamu Yahaya, said he took advantage of the situation in Abuja and make quick money. The perennial fuel scarcity in the FCT started about two weeks ago and had remained unresolved. The situation had caused long queues of vehicles at various filling stations in the territory.
Most filling stations in the territory have no fuel to sell, while the few ones that are selling contend with long queues of vehicles.
While some motorists complained that they spent hours at stations at the expense of their businesses, others lamented the recurrent nature of the scarcity, which they described as inexplicable.
Such queues were noticed at the Forte, NNPC mega-station and Total filling stations, all in the Central Business District of Abuja.
However, the situation at the AP filling station in Maitama District was slightly better, as the queue there was not too long.
Meanwhile, the President of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Abdulkadir Aminu, had blamed the situation on failure of the federal government to pay importers of petroleum for supply made in the third and fourth quarters of 2013.
He said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which now solely imported the product, could only supply 50 per cent of the required quantity, resulting to supply-gap.
The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke, however, assured Nigerians that the scarcity would end in one week.
She said the marketers would be paid within that period.
She gave the assurance on Wednesday while appearing before the Joint Senate Committee on Petroleum.