FG, NARTO meet today, seek way out of fuel crisis
• Queues persist as marketers operate jetties, depots, stations for 18 hours
As long queues resulting from the scarcity of premium motor spirit persist nationwide, marketers of the product, yesterday, agreed to operate their jetties, depots and filling stations for 18 hours.
This is coming amid fears that more tanker owners may stop operations over unfavourable business operations as the Federal Government engages the operators to douse tension.
Most filling stations in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory remained with long queues yesterday, including those that had no product to dispense, as vehicle owners parked in the hope that service would be restored.
The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) noted that the challenges facing the transporters were yet to be resolved, adding that the group will meet with government today to ensure a sustainable solution.
The association’s National President, Yusuf Lawal Othman told The Guardian that some haulage companies have been forced to halt their operations as business environment is now unbearable.
Expressing optimism in the efforts being made by the Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Othman said the association understood the process would take to resolve the challenge, but expects timely intervention from government.
“Some of our members already parked their trucks because the business is no longer sustainable. We have made our stand known to the government and we are hopeful that the matter will be resolved very soon. We understand the time because the NMDPRA will need to report to its board as well as engage with the minister of finance,” Othman said.
Meanwhile, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) stated yesterday, that the association was working with the regulatory authorities and the NNPC towards a resolution of the current fuel crisis.
In a statement, yesterday, the marketers said its subject matter experts were active contributors to the technical and commercial committees’ setup by the regulatory Authorities to re-stock fuel supplies, resolve the blending of contaminated products and identify losses suffered by customers, operators and third parties.
“MOMAN’s committee of chemists are also working with designated laboratories to double check the quality of product (re-blended or new) before they are released into the fuels supply chain.
“Most importantly, MOMAN members have committed resources towards enhanced operations and associated activities to reduce the burden of the current fuel scarcity to our customers. Towards this purpose, MOMAN members shall extend opening hours of jetties, depots, and filling stations to a minimum of 18 hours a day and where possible up to 24 hours a day in high density and flagship locations where the security situation permits,” the group said.
Similarly, member companies of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) have assured the public that depots and retail outlets will extend hours of loading till the situation normalises.
At the FCT, black marketers still continue to smile to the bank as the prevailing fuel scarcity persists.
On Kubwa expressway and some parts of the city, especially Jabi, Wuyi, Wuse, Central Business District, Garki and others, few filling stations were dispensing under heavy queues.
On the airport axis, Shema filling was without fuel. NIPCO was dispensing under a long queue. Dan oil was under lock, The A.Y Shafa adjacent to Dunamis church was dispensing as well as Mobil. The A.Y Shafa on the same road near Aco Estate was equally dispensing at about 6:00pm, yesterday.
The situation is no better in Lagos as people besieged available fuel stations to get the product. The crisis has led to increased cost of transportation, and many people were left stranded at various bus stops, as workers returned from work and students returned from schools.
Traffic gridlocks appeared across some major parts of the city as many service lanes were closed to traffic due to queues from petrol stations.