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Fuel scarcity persists in Abuja despite assurance by NNPC, NMDRA

By Kingsley Jeremiah, Abuja
14 December 2021   |   3:01 am
This is not the best of times for residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some states of the federation as scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, has worsened.

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This is not the best of times for residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and some states of the federation as scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, has worsened.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) had said the country has enough of the commodity while the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDRA) also assured that bottlenecks affecting supply have been addressed.

The nation’s capital, however, witnessed heavy traffic, yesterday, as motorists jostled for fuel in long queues.

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said the situation might persist, noting that marketers are unable to transport products because of owed bridging transportation allowances.

Vice President of IPMAN, Abubakar Shettima, said marketers would meet with the government later in the week.

“Marketers are not getting their bridging claims. It is over 10 months already. The claim is over N50 billion and the marketers do not have money to go and bring the products,” he said.

President of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Yusuf Othman, had told The Guardian that prevailing situation outweighs the bridging payment.

According to him, transporters now operate at 60 per cent as the cost of diesel, vehicle spare parts and poor state of roads have worsened their plight.

“The issue is beyond the bridging payment. Cost of operation is too high. The price of diesel is high, so truck owners are not operating at full capacity,” he said.

On the popular Kubwa Expressway that links many suburbs to the city, major fuel stations, especially A.Y. Shafa, A.A Rano, Oando, MRS, Total and others were under lock.

The few that opened operated at about 90 per cent capacity. Some stations dispensed from only one pump, out of about 10.

Although a litre sold at the official price of N163 at the NNPC station around Ketampe on the Kubwa Expressway, black marketers sold a litre for N400.

On Airport Road and some parts of the city visited by The Guardian, many stations were under lock. Mega stations like Shema, Nipco, and Dan Oil were shut.

A motorist, Ahmed Sani, described the situation as unbearable, as it continues to resurface intermittently.

Another, Abu Inikpi, who was on a queue at the NNPC station along Kubwa Expressway, said she spent over 30 minutes trying to gain assess into the station.