Long queues resurface in Lagos, petrol hawkers back
Lagos residents on Monday saw the return of long queues at petrol filling stations, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A NAN correspondent, who monitored the situation, reports that many petrol stations did not have petrol, while the few ones that had sold above the official pump price of N145 per litre.
Petrol hawkers were sighted along some routes selling 10 litres of petrol at N3,000 against the official pump price of N1,450 per litre.
The scarcity is allegedly due to the pronouncement of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) to embark on an industrial action.
The announcement led to abrupt shut of flow stations across parts of the country which caused panic buying.
Some motorists, who spoke to NAN, said that they had spent hours on queues.
They said that some filling stations were exploiting the situation to increase price of the product.
NAN observed that some filling stations at Berger- Iyana-Oworo Expressway, Ikorodu, Bariga, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, among others, sold petrol at between N160 and N170 per litre.
At NIPCO filling station in Ikorodu, a banker, Mr Anthony Sunday, said that there was no justification for the current fuel scarcity as the government had assured citizens of abundant fuel supply during the Yuletide.
He said that marketers were taking advantage of PENGASSAN’s planned strike and the festive period to exploit citizens.
At Conoil filling station at Alapere, a trader, Mrs Alice Jubril, condemned its management for selling above the pump price of N145 per litre.
Jubril said that marketers were also the cause of the long queues at filling stations.
” I bought a litre of petrol at N160 against the regulated price of N145 per litre.
“This is an indication of exploitation, ” she said.
Another motorist, Mrs Ifeoma Vincent, urged the regulatory agencies to intervene to stop arbitrary increase in pump price.
She said that the development had compelled commercial drivers to increase their fares, adding that the drivers often cited difficulties in getting fuel as the main reason.
“For instance, the fare for a trip from Ikorodu to Ojuelegba which used to be N250 is now N700, while a journey to Ketu which formerly was N100 is now N300.
“Apart from the hike in transport fares, the fuel situation has also affected the traffic situation as parts of the roads have now been taken over by vehicles queuing for fuel, ‘’she said.
The NNPC has, however, advised motorists and other petroleum products consumers not to engage in panic buying.
Its Group General Manger (Group Public Affairs), Mr Ndu Ughamadu, gave the advice in a statement on Monday.
Ughamadu said that relevant government agencies were in consultation with the industrial unions to arrive at amicable resolution of issues over threats of an industrial action.
NNPC warned marketers not to hoard products as law enforcement agencies, working with industry regulators, had been mandated to take appropriate measures against any defaulter.
It said that there were enough petroleum products to go round the nation.
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