Fuel scarcity: Marketers issue serious warning

Barely two months after the previous fuel crisis was resolved and normalcy restored in many parts of the country, the long queue at fuel stations has resurfaced in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and other States.

The development has crippled some economic activities in FCT and other affected States as motorists, business owners lament difficulties in procuring the product.

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This is coming as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) warned Nigerians to prepare for possible worst scarcity of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

IPMAN chairman in Kano State, Bashir Danmalam had in a statement on Monday, said the scarcity can only be averted if the Federal Government prevailed on the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to pay N500 billion bridging claims by its members.

DAILY POST observed on Tuesday that some civil servants were stranded on their way to offices following unavailability of transport means, as vehicles queued in fuel stations.

One of the civil servants, Mr Mary Onoja told DAILY POST that she returned home yesterday after she was unable to get a vehicle to her workplace.

“I came out very early yesterday, as usual, to go to my office, I stood at the Gwarimpa bus stop for almost two hours and could not see any vehicle that could take me to Maitama.

“After some time, I got angry and I informed my boss that I won’t make it to the office. I returned home in anger. I don’t know how it is going to be this morning”, she lamented.

Mr Jonah, who operates a barber shop in Dutse Alhaji, told our correspondent that he was unable to continue his business in the past two days as he was unable to purchase the PMS.

According to him, “we don’t have constant power supply in my area, so we depend mostly on fuel to operate. Now, getting fuel has become another major problem.

“I may soon close the shop pending when normalcy returns because if I buy the product from black marketers at N400 per liter, how much would I make at the end of the day?

“Customers won’t understand when you increase the price of the service, we all understand what everyone is passing through at this moment.”

DAILY POST also observed that transport fare across the city has again skyrocketed following the fuel scarcity.

Asked a taxi driver, Mr Ayuba why the transport fare increased, he said, “most taxi drivers you see on the road bought fuel from black marketers. You don’t expect me to buy fuel N400 per liter and still operate with the usual price”.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), had linked the renewed fuel crisis to low loadouts at depots, which according to it, usually happened during long public holidays.

NNPC spokesman, Garba Deen Muhammad in a statement said, “The NNPC Ltd notes the sudden appearance of fuel queues in parts of Abuja. This is very likely due to low loadouts at depots which usually happen during long public holidays, in this case, the Sallah celebrations.

“Another contributing factor to the sudden appearances of queues is the increased fuel purchases which is also usual with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays.”

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