By John Ikani
The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol entered has its third week in major cities of Nigeria despite assurances of quick resolution by the Federal Government.
The Nigerian Government had earlier attributed the scarcity to an unsafe quantity of methanol above Nigerian specifications discovered in the supply chain.
Although it directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and all oil marketing companies to sustain sufficient distribution of petrol in all retail outlets nationwide, PMS scarcity still persists in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun and Oyo.
The queues appeared to have abated last week but the situation became worse from Friday, as many petrol stations remained shut, while those that opened and sold at the official price, had long queues of motorists waiting to buy the product.
As Nigeria hosts the 5th Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2022), a look through most windows at the NNPC Tower, even from the Petroleum Minister’s waiting room shows the horrific queues at the Conoil and Total stations located in front of the towers.
Heritage Times learnt that early bird delegates who arrived in Abuja on Sunday ahead of NIES 2022 kicking off on Monday (today) were shocked by long, chaotic queues of vehicles struggling to get petrol as scarcity bites harder in various parts of the country.
One of the delegates who did not want his name in print said: “This is terrible. We’ve read about this crisis for over a month and one is worried that the challenge is not over. There is a need for potent solutions to this energy crisis because it wrecks local economies. A solution is needed and quickly too.”
At the suburbs of the nation’s capital, Abuja the scenes were chaotic as motorists struggled to get into few filling stations dispensing petrol.
While the price was selling for N165 per litre in the city, most stations on the way towards the other parts of the northern region were selling above N300 per litre.
On the Kubwa expressway and some parts of the city, especially Jabi, Wuyi, Wuse, Central Business District, Garki and others, few fillings were dispensing under heavy queues.
Also on the airport road, Shema filling was without fuel. NIPCO was dispensing under a long queue. Dan oil was under lock. Oando was dispensing on the Kubwa expressway with long queues as well as MRS. Most of the A.Y Shafa stations along the route had no fuel.
As motorists had difficulty in purchasing petrol, black markets openly hawked the product in kegs, with price ranging from N350 to N400 per litre.
In Lagos, most of the stations owned by independent marketers that were without queues sold the product for between N200 and N250 a litre.
More about NIES 2022
The NIES is a Federal Government of Nigeria official energy industry event with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources and all its parastatals including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NURPC), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) are joint hosts.
Over 5,000 participants from 53 countries are billed to attend the event slated for February 27-March 3, 2022 with the theme “Revitalising the Industry: Future Fuels and Energy Transition.”