Fuel Scarcity: Queues, Hikes in Transport Fares Return As Petrol Near N1000/litre

Fuel Scarcity: Queues, Hikes in Transport Fares Return As Petrol Near N1000/litre

1 month ago
2 mins read

Petrol queues, crowded bus stops, traffic, and hikes in transport fares have returned to most states in Nigeria, with residents resorting to buying petrol in jerrycans, fondly referred to as ‘kegs’ as black market prices soar towards N1000 per litre due to fuel scarcity.

Despite assurance from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) Ltd that the logistics issue had been resolved, long lines of motorists snaking around petrol stations, waiting for hours, only to be turned away due to a lack of product, have become a common sight. However, marketers expect normalcy to return next week.

A senior oil executive in Nigeria’s downstream sector attributed the current petrol scarcity to the scarcity of products caused by hitches in the logistics operations of NNPC Ltd. He expressed optimism that the situation would improve by next week, stating, “We expect that by next week or so, NNPC should be able to restore supply, and within another week, normalcy should return.”

Billy Gillis-Harry, the president of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), lamented that his members do not have access to petroleum products. He emphasized that once the product is available in all the depots, retail outlet owners would complement NNPC’s efforts to ensure that all stations are wet.

READ ALSO: NNPC Attributes Fuel Scarcity To Logistics Issues

“Well, from my perspective as a retail outlet owner and representing all the retail outlet owners who are members of PETROAN, I can tell you that our challenge is that we do not have access to the product,” Gillis-Harry said on Monday during Channels TV’s Morning Brief breakfast programme.

“So, once the product is available in all the depots, and we are being issued our products, we will certainly complement NNPC’s efforts to make sure that all the stations are wet and we are doing that consistently.

“Even in this season, at this time, NNPC in the last few weeks have squeezed in loading barges to encourage everyone including the NNPC stations and PETROAN members and even IPMAN members and we are taking products bit by bit to our various stations.”

The current fuel scarcity has caused frustration among motorists, with many resorting to purchasing petrol in kegs from black marketers. Tunde Alake, a motorist, expressed his frustration after waiting for over two hours at NNPC Ltd, Ikoyi, without getting fuel.

“The reappearance of long queues at filling stations has caused frustration among motorists, many of whom have resorted to purchasing petrol in kegs from black marketers,” he told Prime Business Africa

Another motorist, Emmanuel Balogun, who was unable to get fuel after waiting for over an hour, resorted to buying from black marketers, hoping the quality would be alright.

“I can’t afford to waste hours waiting just to fill up the tank. But buying from these keg guys…well, let’s just say I hope the quality is alright,” he said.

The fuel scarcity has also led to hikes in transport fares, causing hardship for commuters. The situation is a reminder of the challenges that followed the elimination of fuel subsidies by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, which resulted in a tripling of petrol prices nationwide.

The elimination of the fuel subsidy was intended to allow the private sector to import petrol, thereby assuming the monopoly of petrol importation from the NNPCL. However, private oil companies are unable to secure foreign exchange for importation, making NNPC Ltd Nigeria’s only source of petrol imports for months.

As the situation continues, motorists and commuters are left to bear the brunt of the fuel scarcity, hoping that the expected improvement in supply chain and logistics operations will bring an end to the current hardship.

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