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Petrol Scarcity Worsens, Spreads To Other States

petrol scarcity
  • Marketers resume product lifting from depots
  • NNPC: There is sufficient stock

Motorists and others waited for hours in queues at the few filling stations dispensing the product.

Other states that experienced acute scarcity are Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Jigawa.

The scarcity first hit the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) last week. But an improvement was noticed across Abuja yesterday.  

Most Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) franchise stations, especially in Lagos, had their gates closed to motorists due to a lack of stock.

However, some marketers that opened for business in the nation’s commercial capital had queues. 

Scores of jerry can–carrying residents were also seen struggling for access.

Unlike independent marketers who cashed in on the situation to slightly hike their pump prices, the majors did not.

But, as vehicle owners and other petrol users lamented the situation, the NNPC Ltd and Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed the scarcity on the logistics challenge.

They, however, gave an assurance that normalcy would return this week as product lifting started by marketers.

NNPC Chief Communications Officer, Olufemi Soneye, said the company had no issues with stock availability.

He explained that each time a supply disruption happens(like the one caused by logistics hiccups), it normally takes a maximum of five days for normalcy to return.

“It (logistics challenge) has been resolved. The thing is once there’s a day or two in disruption it takes about three to five days for normalcy to return. We have products and there is no cause for worry,” Soneye said.

IPMAN National President, Abubakar Maigandi, explained to The Nation that the logistics problem involved the discharge of petrol from a mother vessel to the depots.

“You know that the product is imported and it takes a while to discharge from the mother vessel to the Daughter vessel and to the depot.

“That is where the problem emanated from and that has been rectified,” Maigandi said.

He added: “The queues will not last. It should be cleared by this week. We met with the NNPC and they explained the logistics issues they had.

“But they have started supplies to their various depots and we are already receiving the products from some depots.

“We expect that in the course of the week, the situation will further improve and there will be more supplies at the stations if things continue the way it is at the moment.”

Although some of his association members upped pump prices, the IPMAN president, said: “NNPC did not mention any price increase to us. If there will be a price increase, they would have communicated to us, but we asked them and they confirmed there is no plan for such.”

Executive Secretary of the Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN), Clement Isong, also said his members received petrol products throughout the weekend.

Also confirming that the logistic problem had been resolved, Isong said there should be no need for panic if the queues at filling stations lengthened today.

He said: “In a couple of days, the backlog will be cleared. What you are seeing is panic buying. Tomorrow (today), the lines may get longer at the filling stations as motorists try to fill up their tanks. But I advise that there is no need to worry because NNPCL has enough stock.

“Normally, when you have situations like this (supply disruption) there will be backlogs to clear but we have been trucking and people need to calm down because there are supplies.

‘’I can tell you that Mobil and TotalEnergies worked throughout yesterday (Saturday); ConOil and MRS are all trucking right now.

‘So, the situation is not as bad as it appears. It will clear out in the course of the week.”

When The Nation contacted the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) for independent petroleum market data, a Senior Officer at its Corporate Service Unit, Seiyefa Osanebi, replied: “I can’t provide that right now.”


Across the metropolis yesterday, petrol queues at filling stations like Mobil located along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, North West at Maryland and Gbagada, NIPCO  along Ijede Road, Ikorodu, and TotalEnergies at the NNPC bus stop in Ejigbo, stretched to about 500 metres from the pumps.

Some motorists and other residents, who lamented the situation, said they had to resort to buying from black market operators.

One Musa Lawal said he waited for over two hours at the Mobil filling station along the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway before deciding to look for an alternative.

Another motorist, who gave his name simply as Lekan Balogun, returned without getting petrol to buy after waiting at NNPCL filling station in Ladipo, Mushin for over an hour.

Oyo, Anambra, Kaduna, Niger, others

The situation was the same in Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Edo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, and Jigawa states where petrol sold at above N760  at the stations that opened for business.

In Akure, Ondo State, it sold for N685 and N730 per litre while in Ibadan, Oyo State, it was N730/N750.

Chairman of IPMAN, Ore depot, Shina Amoo, accused the NNPCL of not selling petrol to IPMAN members.

“The cause of the scarcity is what I have said earlier. The product is not available. We also do not have money to struggle with major marketers.”

It was gathered that many of the independent marketers in Ibadan preferred to sell at odd hours at N750 per litre.

The scarcity in Osun made Governor Ademola Adeleke to warn marketers against hoarding the product.

Chairman of the Petroleum Monitoring Taskforce, Kazeem Akinleye, announced the warning.

Akinleye said: “Most filling stations are hoarding petrol products, thereby worsening the fuel supply situation in the state.

“The surveillance activities were conducted in major towns and the state capital in the last three days and it revealed deliberate hoarding of fuel to create artificial scarcity.”

In Jos, the Plateau State capital, many car owners, who could not afford to buy the product at between N685 and N800 at official outlets parked their vehicles at home.

But desperate motorists and other users who lacked the patience to wait endlessly at the stations turned to ‘black markets’ where they paid as much as N1,000 per litre.

A motorist, Dominic Jude, said: “I had to park my car due to non-availability of fuel today (yesterday). The other day (Saturday), black market operators were selling at N800 per litre but today (yesterday) they sell for N1,000.’’

In the Enugu metropolis, majority of the filling stations did not sell but the few that did dispensed at between N725 and N760 per litre.

Only major marketers like Total, Enyo, Masters Energy, Rainoil, and Northwest dispensed the product to desperate motorists and domestic users at between N667 and N695 per litre. NNPC stations which maintained the price of N600 per litre, had long vehicular queues.   

Some filling stations in Port Harcourt sold fuel between N700 to N720 per litre.

“Many of the filling stations opened for business. But I  noticed a slight increase in the price of fuel.

“For instance, I bought a litre at N705 at a filling station along Chinda Road in Obio-Akpo Local Government Area,” said a resident who gave his name simply as Christian.

In Benin, Edo State, the few independent marketers that still had some stock sold a litre at N700.

In Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, they sold at N920, and in Minna, Niger State at between N700 to N800.

At black markets in Wushishi and Kontagora areas, a litre was as high as 790 to N1,000.

The situation was worse in Kaduna where residents had to cough out between N1,200 and N1,300 for a litre at the black market.

A former employee of the NNPCL and an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Kailani Muhammad, said the scarcity was caused by petroleum products marketers.

Muhammad said: “Those behind this manufactured fuel scarcity should be fished out and sanctioned accordingly to serve as a deterrent to others. This country belongs to all of us. We must collectively work hard to salvage it together.”

At some of the filling stations in Awka, Anambra State, the product sold at between N720 and N730 while at Umuahia and Aba in Abia State, it went for N700 and N740.

At black markets in Katsina, the product also sold at N1,300 a litre.

SOURCE: TheNation