Nigerians Panic As Fuel Scarcity Disorganized Motorists Movement
In Abuja , many motorists who closed from work yesterday were unable to buy fuel , as many stations were shut. At about 8 p.m. , there was a long queue at the NNPC retail station along Kubwa Expressway that kept motorists waiting for hours.
The shortage, which began in Sokoto at the weekend, worsened yesterday morning as motorists resorted to panic buying. Some filling stations belonging to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN ) increased the price of a litre to N 150 .
Queues were longer at NNPC mega stations and others operated by major marketers , as they maintained the official price of N 145 but were reluctant to sell to motorists .
The scarcity began Saturday evening in Kano , leaving many filing stations owned by independent marketers shut. The few stations opened along Zaria , Zoo, BUK , and Murtala Mohammed Roads had long queues.
In Lagos , there were lengthy queues at filling stations on the popular Awolowo Road in Ikoyi and at Airport Road . The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC ) however insisted that there was no plan to increase the price of petrol, pledging it would avert shortage of the product during and after Yuletide.
Independent marketers in Lagos had earlier threatened to withdraw their services beginning December 11 due to alleged breach of bulk purchase agreement with NNPC .The group had accused the corporation of selling fuel to it above the bulk price of N133 .28 k per litre , an allegation the NNPC denied.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division , NNPC , Ndu Ughamad, said the ex-depot price of N133 .38 per litre and pump price of N 143/N145 per litre had not changed. He said the corporation had enough fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution across the country.
The corporation urged consumers to disregard rumours of an impending price hike , saying it had the commitment of all downstream stakeholders including petroleum marketers and industry unions to ensuring zero fuel scarcity at the festive period. The NNPC also urged motorists to avoid panic buying or storing petrol in their homes .