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Motorists panic as fuel queues resurface in Abuja

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 Motorists panic as fuel queues resurface in Abuja

Indications emerged Friday that fuel queues have resurfaced in petrol stations across Abuja, the nation’s capital city, with many motorists scrambling to get petroleum products.

The immediate cause of the latest queues in Abuja remains unknown as filling stations in the Wuse, Bwari and Lugbe areas of the FCT sold petrol at prices ranging from N162 to N165.

However, a who visit to some petrol stations around the metropolis Sunday morning found that some filling stations were shut to buyers.

Shafa filling station located opposite Optima fuel station, airport road Lugbe was shut. An official said that they just exhausted their stock.

READ ALSO :Fuel queues may linger in Abuja, other cities as transporters halt operations

Similarly, the NIPCO filling station along the same airport road, Lugbe, was opened but an official said the station had no petrol stock.

A long queue was seen at NNPC retail outlet central business district area and Oando in Wuse Zone 1 while Saddi Kamal, Mrs oil, Dan oil and Danmarna petroleum limited, located along Lugbe airport road, were under lock Sunday morning.

Scarcity
Earlier in the year, fuel scarcity hit major Nigerian cities including Abuja and Lagos as people scrambled to get petrol for their cars and their electricity generators at a time of rising temperatures.

In February, the Nigerian government said methanol found in imported fuel exceeded Nigeria’s specifications. The development resulted in a shortage of petrol and queues reappearing in major cities.

The crisis lingered for weeks — and in some places like Abuja, for several months — despite the federal government saying it had sufficient stock of petroleum products for distribution across the country.

Nigerians especially in Abuja have endured an unpredictable supply of fuel for over a year now, with filling stations operating at reduced capacity.

The crisis started in 2021 after the government announced its plan to remove fuel subsidies. Marketers, who the regulators accuse of hoarding the product, have refused to resume normal operations even after the suspension of the subsidy removal plan.

As fuel queues resurfaced across parts of the capital city on Friday, many Nigerians are worried that they may have entered yet another season of suffering and lamentations.

Lamentations
During a visit to Shema filling station along Lugbe, Airport Road, a crowd of motorists struggled among themselves to buy petrol Sunday morning.

“We are so surprised to see this queue this morning, I can’t figure out the reason for this,” a pump attendant at the station, who craved anonymity, said.

A civil servant who identified himself simply as Joseph said: “From what I’m seeing, I don’t think this is panic buying, I think there’s no fuel and whatever the reason might be I don’t know but the government needs to save us this time around because we don’t want to experience the suffering we had some months ago.”

Mr Joseph said the filling stations were hoarding the fuel because most fuel stations were shut against buyers.

“I drove to town and the only fuel station that I saw selling was Total opposite NNPC Tower. There was too much queue there, that’s why I had to come down to this airport road,” he said.
“The fuel in my car is about to run out and I don’t want my car to stop on the way. The government should try and address the issue.”

A taxi driver, Adeniyi Usman, lamented that the queues resurfaced Friday, adding that it may have been caused by the scarcity of aviation fuel.

“This queue started on Friday. That was when I noticed it but it was worse yesterday evening. Now, I don’t even know the reason but the way things are now, I must say it is because of the scarcity of aviation fuel,” he said.

“I was at Shafa fuel station in Lugbe and they were selling the product, all of a sudden the attendant said the fuel was finished. I think fuel stations have started hoarding,” he said.

Another civil servant at the station, who gave his name as Patrick, lamented that the government was aware of the situation.

“I don’t understand what is going on. Yesterday I bought fuel without stress but I was surprised this morning. What is happening I don’t know the way the government is treating us, I don’t like it at all. I’m tired of this administration.

“How can we be suffering for the fuel each time when the country has enough? If they want to increase it, let them increase it so that everybody will be buying. They did not increase it, so why all this suffering for God’s sake?

“I think the best thing to do now is to wipe all the people handling these fuel issues away and put a new set of people there. Because I don’t understand this country again and the government will not tell me that they are not aware of this situation,” he said.

More Troubles
A car user, Nathan Ello, expressed fears over the ripple effect of the queues in the next few days.

“By tomorrow the situation might be worse than what is already on the ground,” he said.

“I heard a few days ago that the airline wants to go on strike on Monday, then the next thing we saw was the long queues in filling stations. “This is a country where the government says one thing and you see a different thing on the street

“So we don’t depend on what the government is saying because the last time this same thing happened the minister of the state of petroleum said fuel queues are gone forever as far as this administration is concerned but we’ve seen it again.

“It is more like the government just sits in the comfort of their own and says things without backing them up with facts about what is happening on the streets.

“My prayer is that the airline strike should not come to pass because if that happens, it will ground business activities all over the country,” he said.

(PREMIUM TIMES)

 

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