The lingering fuel scarcity worsened in some parts of the country with motorists buying petrol between N300 and N350-litre in Abuja on Monday.
Some Abuja residents, who spoke with our correspondent, lamented the spike in the price of PMS as well as the difficulties experienced in accessing the product.
A motorist, who gave his name as Michael Adebanjo, said black marketeers were selling fuel between N300 to N350 as of Monday.
He said, “I’ve been buying from black marketeers between N300 to N350 per litre. There is no fuel in most filling stations in Abuja. The ones that have, there’s a very long queue. Since, I don’t have the time to wait, I often resort to the black market.”
Another motorist, who gave his name as Ubong Edet, said that while he was able to buy the product for N250 at a filling station over the weekend, difficulty in accessing it forced him to buy at N300 per litre at the black market.
“I bought for N250 on Saturday. I had to join a very long queue before I could even get it that day. Today, it was even more difficult. The queues are something else. So I decided to buy black market today. I bought it for N300 per litre.”
In Abuja, Khalif filling station in Kubwa, had dispensed the commodity at N250/litre on Sunday but had N165/litre displayed on its pumps. But once a motorist tells the fuel attendant the amount he or she wishes to buy, this would be calculated based on black market rate.
The queues for petrol in Abuja has never ceased since February this year, but it grew worse in neighbouring states of Nasarawa and Niger on Sunday as motorists search for PMS to use to move around during the Sallah break.
Oil marketers denied claims of products’ hoarding or diversion, as they stressed that the insufficient supply of PMS by NNPC and the non-payment of bridging claims for the transportation of petrol were the key reasons for the scarcity.
The President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, told our correspondent that filling stations that had products were dispensing, while those that were shut had no petrol to sell.
However, further checks show that the queues for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, reduced in some parts of Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa and Niger states on Monday as more filling stations dispensed the product to motorists.
It was observed that more filling stations on the Kubwa-Zuba road, Airport Road, Central Business District, among other locations in Abuja had reduced queues on Monday.
Retail outlets such as AY Shafa in Deidei, NNPC mega station along Kubwa-Zuba road, Major Oil on Airport Road, and many others dispensed petrol to motorists.
The reduced queues, according to marketers, may be due to the fewer number of vehicles on the roads as many residents of the capital city were believed to have travelled to observe the Sallah break outside Abuja.
The National Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief John Kekeocha, however, stated that more trucks had loaded products and were heading Abuja.
He told our correspondent that “we are hopeful that very soon the queues in Abuja and environs will clear if all things remain equal and there is no continued agitation for payment of bridging claims.
“On price disparity, this is because many marketers bought their products at higher rates above what was approved by the government and they have to get the required margin in order to remain in business.”
Kekeocha added, “However, there has been no official pronouncement of any review in petrol price whether upward or otherwise. So the official price of petrol still remains at the N165/litre government-approved rate.”