By Laraba MUREY
There is no respite in sight for motorists and commuters in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, as fuel scarcity persists, and with long queues at dispensing filling stations.
In some of the fuel stations, prices have been jacked above the official rate of N162, N165 per litre to as much as N225.
At a filling station in Tunga Maje, outskirt of Abuja Municipal Area Council, motorists who queued for fuel were told a litre was selling for N225 per litre by an official of the station who refused to identify himself.
The station, Yasalam Oil Company Ltd, seemed unbothered about their price hike, informing motorists not willing to buy at that price to leave.
In other parts like Kuje, Jikwoyi, and border places like Mararaba, fuel was sold for as much as N180 per litre with commuters scrambling.
Elsewhere, there were long queues with many spending as much as six hours on queue.
A distraught motorist, Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, complained of sharp practices and stations not dispensing at full capacity.
“Why do filling stations love serving those on illegal queues and leave those that are doing the right thing? Is FG responsible for this too?
“A. Y. M. Shafa Wuye, despite the queue being a very short one, I have been here for over two hours! No fair at all,” Taiwo-Obalonye, a journalist, wrote on her Facebook page, weekend.
Also, another motorist, Paschal Dogo, accused filling stations of economic sabotage and appealed to the government to sanction them.
“Most stations have fuel but prefer to sell fewer pumps and the result is the queues you are seeing. They sell either late at night to black marketers or early and for few hours,” Dogo stated.
However, the NNPC Ltd, weekend, assured Nigerians that it had sufficient stock of petroleum products for distribution across the country, and was working assiduously with partners to ensure the product reaches every part of the country.
“NNPC is further intensifying efforts to resolve distribution hitches being experienced in some parts of the country due to logistics issues,” a statement from the company stated.
“To this effect, NNPC is engaging depot operators to load product round the clock to accelerate the restoration of normal distribution.
“NNPC has also engaged the services of Government Security Agencies to ensure that all products loaded get to the right destination.
We urge Nigerians to continue to be patient as we strive to restore the situation to normalcy.”