The National Vice President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Abubakar Maigandi, said the fuel scarcity in the country is driven by fear of electoral violence.
Maigandi disclosed that oil marketers in the Northern states of Nigeria have suspended their journey to Lagos to load fuel and distribute the product in their region.
This is out of fear that the election could trigger crises, thereby, putting their lives at risk while transporting the fuel from the South to the North.
“Most people thought that there would be crises, so they stopped their trucks from going to lift products, but since there is no crisis so far, by next week, fuel should be available,” Maigandi told Punch in a report on Wednesday.
“It will clear after the governorship elections in states on Saturday, for when we have elections every time in Nigeria people will develop fear. So that is the challenge.
“When we tell our truck drivers to go to Lagos to lift products, they refuse because they are scared of their lives. So we hope that by next week it will clear, for after the elections, things should return to normal because there is enough product.
“This is why in areas such as Lagos and neighbouring states, they do not have this challenge we are seeing up North. There are no queues in Lagos and we are hopeful that the queues here should clear by next week,” Maigandi added.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of IPMAN, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, said fuel scarcity often takes time before normalcy returns to retail stations.
Shuaibu said the collation of results for the general elections on 25 February 2023 made tanker drivers and truck owners fearful.
“This affected the system and we expect the NNPC to hit the ground running immediately by ensuring that more trucks move down to the North between now and Friday, before the gubernatorial elections on Saturday.
“For when we go into such fuel scarcity situation like this, it takes time before it normalises because of the distance of trucking this product from down South to Abuja and far away North.
“There would not be movement as from Saturday and this will lead to the continuation of fuel scarcity till next week. So the reason for the heavy queues is the general elections and this might continue till the elections are over,” Shuaibu stated.