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Fuel Scarcity: Consumers groan as long queues resurface in Abuja, Lagos, other states

Photo Collage of Current Fuel Situation in Some Cities in Nigeria

*’The situation is that there is no product. Once there is a lack of supply or inadequate supply, what you will see is scarcity and queues will emerge at filling stations,’ says IPMAN Spokesman

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Fuel consumers, again, have expressed their displeasure over the re-appearance of long queues for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol in Abuja, FCT, Lagos, and several other cities, in the past one week, in Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect gathered that the relative fuel scarcity has continued to grow, affecting commuting, business operations, and cost of living for millions of Nigerians.

Checks also indicated that the West African country yet may be thrown into a fresh round of what some petroleum products consumers have described as “artificial” fuel scarcity.

Earlier, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) had assured consumers that it resolved the cause of fuel shortages in the country.

Olufemi Soneye, Spokesman of NNPCL, in a statement last Thursday, emphasised that the prices of petroleum products were not changing.

Soneye also clarified that the limited fuel supply currently being experienced in some parts of the country resulted from logistics issues.

According to the Spokesman, the issues have since been resolved.

Nonetheless, the fuel supply situation was a different ball game as of Monday, April 29, 2024.

Reports indicated that a surge in the numbers of vehicle queues at filling stations in parts of Lagos State, with prices as high as N700 per litre.

It was learnt the sane consumer experience played out in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Benue, Sokoto, and other parts of the country.

As motorists struggle to get products even at higher prices, several consumers got stranded in some parts of Lagos, according to report.

While prices have surged to about N700 per litre and above at filling stations belonging to members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigerian (IPMAN), few owned by the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) sell at around N610 per litre and above, report said.

However, other reports also said that consumers have bought petrol for between N700 and N2,000 in some parts of Nigeria due to product scarcity.

Still, NNPCL stations currently sell at N568 per litre amid the fuel scarcity.

There’s lack of or inadequate fuel supply to marketers:  IPMAN Spokesman

Commenting on the current development in the energy sector of the Nigerian economy,

Chinedu Ukadike, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of IPMAN, reportedly said: “The situation is that there is no product. Once there is a lack of supply or inadequate supply, what you will see is scarcity and queues will emerge at filling stations.”

Likewise, since the weekend, this publication has observed that several stations are under lock and key in several parts of Lagos State.

Most filling stations along the entire stretch from Berger through Ikeja, Ogba to Agege, didn’t welcome customers, while few that had product to sell had long queues of vehicles waiting to purchase PMS.

Despite the scarcity, only a handful of stations along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, from Oshodi to Tollgate, sold products, thereby attracting longer queues even with prices over N700 per litre, according to report.

Consumers react, condemn current fuel scarcity

Amid the scarcity of petroleum product, Nigerians, both online and off line, have expressed frustration over the development.

Among several others, who commented on their social media pages,

an X user with the handle @Chukky_E, wondered what could have caused the scarcity in the first place.

He wrote:

“Abeg can someone explain why there is a scarcity?”

While another user, @ChimaGabriel31, opined that the scarcity was faked by marketers to increase prices, @AdventurousAlec, said he had bought a litre of petrol for N1,000.

@ChomaGabriel31 also wrote:

“Tinubu is continuing the Buhari format where they create a fake scarcity in a bid to increase pump price.

“Don’t be surprised to see fuel now sold at N800 or N700+ after the scarcity since Nigerians are already willingly struggling to buy it at 900 and above now.”

@OkoliStephenIz3 rather argued that fuel prices have remained the same until Tinubu’s administration.

The X user also wrote:

“You are right, but the same volume of fuel never changed until Tinubu came Fuel prices were the same during Buhari and Goodluck amidst the distance.”

While @DrPromise_e disclosed that a litre of the product was told at N820 per litre in his area, @emmysizzle wrote, “610….at Conoil, Herbert Macaulay Yaba, this (Monday) morning.

“The guy at the pump collected 500 Naira from everyone for ‘transfer fee’ though as POS wasn’t working and we could only transfer to his personal account.”

@Tolha_ as well wrote that fuel was sold at N870 per litre in his area.

The consumer noted: “Bought #870 yesterday, on getting to the same fuelling station this evening, they have changed it to 900 per litre.

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