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Fuel scarcity bites harder in Abuja as filling stations run out of stock

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
15 February 2022   |   4:06 am
Most filling stations in Abuja and environs no longer have petrol in their tanks, as queues for the product get longer.

Long queue at a filling station over fuel scarcity in Abuja. PHOTO: ADEYEMI ADEKUNLE

• Distributors assure buyers of quality PMS
• NMDPRA to convey stakeholders’ parley on freight charges

Most filling stations in Abuja and environs no longer have petrol in their tanks, as queues for the product get longer.

This comes as key players in the petroleum products distribution network have assured the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) that their trucks and filling stations will only carry and sell quality products that meet the specifications of the authority.

While the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its partners are trading blames amid exploring the way out of the shortage of petrol nationwide, motorists are groaning as transport fares have shot up in Abuja metropolis.

Most of the filling stations have run out of supply, but not having petrol have not stopped motorists from queuing up, hoping for early supply.

Adamu Abdullah said his decision to queue at a filling station that has no fuel was hinged on hope and a rumour that the station might have fuel later in the day.

Also, a civil servant, who works in the Federal Secretariat located on Shehu Shagari Way, Florence Samuel, said: “I am a junior worker here on a salary scale of N38,000. I live in Lugbe, which used to be N200 before the scarcity but is now going for N400 or N500. That means I will have to spend N1,000 on transport per day.

Meanwhile, The Guardian gathered yesterday in Abuja that the NNPC and its partners are currently exploring a way of blending the adulterated fuel with Nigerian spec with the hope of restoring normalcy soon.

The marketers, in a meeting with the Authority Chief Executive, Farouk Ahmed, said since the discovery of contaminated products, taken had been steps to ensure that no off-spec PMS (fuel) reaches end-users by isolating and sterilising all storage facilities.

They hinted that measures had been put in place to guarantee that only on-spec products that meet the approved specification are sold in all their filling stations.

On the raging disagreement on freight of petrol nationwide by transporters, the stakeholders, on behalf of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), appealed to the Authority to review the current freight rate for petroleum products transportation to reflect market realities based on the rising cost of spare-parts, AGO (Diesel), foreign exchange and inflation, among others.

Ahmed, who commended the group for its effort and support in minimising exposure of end-users to the off-spec PMS in the distribution network, said that the Authority would soon host a stakeholders’ meeting with NARTO to chart a way forward.