Written by Sarah NEGEDU

Fuel scarcity: long queues persist in Abuja

Despite moves by the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, to end the current fuel scarcity that has crippled economic activities in most parts of the nation, long queues remained a constant sight in filling stations in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Some motorists have attributed the queues to sabotage on the part of oil marketers, who have refused to sell from more than one or two pumps. 

They say most filling stations selling at the regulated price of N87, are slowing down their sales to create some form of artificial scarcity.

The queue stretch for over a kilometre at the NNPC filling station along the Kubwa express road all through the last week, with the situation not different at the NNPC mega station in Garki, as motorists patiently waited for their turn. Major marketers like the Total filling station opposite the NNPC towers also had its share of long queues.

However, our correspondent observed that some stations like the Total filling station by Sky Memorial, Oando filling station behind Berger yard were out of supply most part of the week.

Some motorists who spoke with The Abuja Inquirer, called for lasting solution to end the perennial scarcity, stressing that the government ought to have understood the intrigues in the industry and worked out a strategy to check the problem.

A motorist at the NNPC mega station on Kubwa express road, Mustapha Dahiru, said, “Government has no excuse of allowing this queues to always spring out whenever the so called ‘cabals’ want. It is bad enough that Nigeria still sells petrol at exorbitant price despite the global crash in the price of the product, but why should we be subjected to such difficulty? 

“Each time the scarcity starts, they tell us it is panic buying, but at the end the same government will come up with excuses of vandalism, and what have you. Please something should be done to put this scarcity to permanent rest.”

The scarcity is said to have crippled economic activities even as transport fares around Abuja has also been affected. For instant, a trip from Berger round about to area 1, formerly at N50, now goes for N100, while a trip from Berger to Jabi/Life Camp axis, which was formerly N100, now goes for N150.

Longer routes like the Berger to Lugbe, Berger to Bwari and Suleja, have remained at N100 and N200 respectively.

Meanwhile, the PPMC has assured Nigerians that the queues will soon disappear, as the company has lifted fuel from the Port Harcourt, Warri, Ogarra and Calabar depots.

According to the Managing Director of the PPMC, Esther Ogbue, over 1,000 trucks were loaded and trucked out by majors and PPMC by last Wednesday.


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