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Fuel scarcity bites harder as motorists appeal to government



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By OdunewuSegun

DESPITE assurances by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its downstream subsidiary, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) that it has distributed a total of 25,042,686 million litres of petrol, the ongoing fuel scarcity in Lagos State and the entire nation still lingers on.

Some of petrol stations, especially the Independent Oil Marketers have capitalised on the situation to hike the price the product, with some selling as high as N150 per litre.

Many others remained under lock and key preferring to sell only to motorists and black market operators at night. But the PPMC insisted the volume of product in stock translated to 31 days sufficiency going by the 40 million daily consumption rate of the product in the country.

A resident of Ogba, BabajideAra, said he paid more than N400 from the normal N250 to reach his destination in marina because of the hike in transport fare. According to him, he was forced to use public transport when he could not get fuel after spending hours on queue at the Mobil filling station at Ojodu, Berger without getting the premium product.

He said:  “I waited to get the product only for the stock to finish just when the car before mine was being served.”  “You could imagine the frustration when this happened and I decided not to buy from the black market operators, but to take public transport,” he added.

Another motorist, SaheedAdeyemi, said he was forced to cancel all engagements outside Lagos, as he could not “joke” with the little supply he had.

“I think the present and outgoing government has the lion share of the blame for this scarcity and should, therefore, proffer solution to disabuse the minds of Nigerians that the decrease in pump price in the first place was not intended to woo the citizens to support the administration and that the present impasse is not a deliberate intention to punish Nigerians and frustrate the in-coming government.”

Respite may be far from the lingering fuel crisis, as indications emerged that the acute shortage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol may continue for some time, due to marketers’ apprehension over the N413bn subsidy balance.

National Daily gathered that the petroleum marketers have continued to ration products thereby forcing consumers to resort to the black-market or buying above pump price.

The marketers who spoke with National Daily today confirmed that they have smaller products compared to the demand at depots.

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