Fuel Scarcity Grounds Lagos, Other Cities

The scarcity of petrol got worse in many parts of the country on Monday despite assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that the situation would improve.

Lagos, which traditionally receives more product than other parts of the country, was virtually grounded on Monday as only few vehicles moved about, with many passengers stranded at bus stops, while queues of desperate motorists stretched for kilometres at the few filling stations that had the product to sell, and partially blocked major roads.

According to Punch, the same situation was recorded in the Federal Capital Territory, Osogbo, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Minna, Maiduguri, Bauchi, Ado Ekiti and Benin City, among others.

At most filling stations belonging to independent marketers, a litre of the product sold for between N120 and N200 instead of the N86 and N86.50 official pump prices, while black market hawkers sold it for as high as N400 per litre.

Many commuters were seen in Lagos struggling to get commercial vehicles to different destinations, even as some transport operators increased the fares by 100 per cent or more.

On the Otedola Estate and Berger end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Mobil, Capital Oil and Oando filling stations had longer queues of desperate motorists and other customers, which spilled onto the road and caused a serious gridlock.

The long queues at the filling stations forced many motorists to resort to the black marketers, who were having a field day as they sold the product at exorbitant prices.

A correspondent gathered that most of the independent marketers’ depots in Apapa did not have petrol on Monday, while few had kerosene and Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).

Out of the 36 depots surveyed, only Capital Oil, Folawiyo and Heyden were said to have petrol, while MRS was still expecting its vessel.

Aiteo, Acorn, Nipco Plc, Fatgbems, Aiteo, Sahara, Techno, Zenon, Stallionire, Gulf Treasure, Global Fleet, Honeywell, Obat, Eurafic, Rahamaniyya, Index and other depots did not have petrol to load.

A commuter, Jumoke Awe, said she bought a litre of petrol for N300 on the black market on her way to Palmgrove from Ajah, but had to park her car somewhere along the Lekki-Ajah Expressway so as to take a commercial bus due to the attendant gridlock.

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