By John Ikani
After weeks of respite, following more than three months of punishing petrol scarcity nationwide, long queues have appeared in the nation’s capital Abuja and adjoining states.
In Abuja, queues were seen at the Nipco filling station along the busy Zuba-Kubwa expressway in Abuja and at the Conoil and Total filling stations located opposite the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in the capital city.
It was observed that many other outlets were shut as they claimed not to have products to dispense, a development that led to the crowding of the filling stations that dispensed the commodity.
In the Mararaba area of Nasarawa State, none of the stations retailing petrol as of Thursday had the product on Sunday while in Zuba, Niger State, the few stations that dispensed products also had long queues formed by motorists.
In late January this year, Nigerians were confronted with supply disruptions, which began in Abuja, then spread to Lagos and other parts of the country after adulterated products went into circulation. The problem lasted until early April.
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.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has in a series of Tweets attributed the present scarticy to low loadouts.
“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,” the agency said on late Sunday.
It explained that another reason for the development is the “increased fuel purchases which are also usual with returning residents of the FCT from the public holidays.”
While calling on Nigerians and residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) particularly not to panic over the development, the NNPC said it has ample local supplies and national stock.
“We assure all residents of the FCT, and indeed all Nigerians, that we have ample local supplies and national stock in excess of 2.5 billion liters, with a sufficiency of more than 43 days,” it added.
“The NNPC Ltd hereby advises motorists not to engage in panic buying as supplies are adequate as will become increasingly evident in the coming days.”
PRESS RELEASE (08/05/2022)
MILD FUEL QUEUES IN ABUJA
1. 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.
— NNPCLimited (@NNPCgroup) May 8, 2022