Long queues of desperate motorists and other users of Premium Motor Spirit (MPS) returned to many filling stations in Lagos and Ogun states on Saturday and Sunday after a brief relief from the severe scarcity of the product that rocked the country during the Christmas period to early January.
Many of the stations were closed in Lagos on Sunday, while some stations who dispensed PMS sold above the official pump price of N145 per litre.
Several filling stations on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway were under lock and key yesterday. Oando and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Station at Car Park C, Lotto, Redemption Camp bus stop as well as the one at Arepo were the only stations selling at regulated price of N145 per litre. It was the same thing in Lagos metropolis
Some filling stations in Ikotun, Ejigbo, Isolo etc. areas of Lagos were selling at between N160 and N180 per litre, while others only sold to motorcycle riders and other petrol seekers with jerry cans charging N200 extra by the pump attendant.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Sunday said that it had released 250 trucks of petrol to Lagos metropolis for effective dispensing at filling stations to forestall any scarcity. Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. According to him, there has been a slight change in the distribution network in Lagos, as Lagos is currently being supplied by members of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
“At the weekend there was a hitch in discharging of petrol by ships which has been ratified. “Today, 250 trucks have been discharged to Lagos compared to less than 200 trucks usually allocated to Lagos at the weekend,” he said. The NNPC spokesman said that the ships which commenced discharging since Saturday night had finished discharging, adding that in a couple of hours the long queues will disappeared and normalcy will return to Lagos. Ughamadu, urged motorist to avoid hoarding of petrol and panic buying, as there is sufficient products in stock that will last for days.
The NNPC spokesperson also acknowledged a slight hitch at the Port Harcourt refinery due to power problem. “Port Harcourt refinery is slightly down for now, pending when the problem will be rectified.
A NAN correspondent who went round Lagos metropolis however reports that fuel queues had started springing up again in most filling stations in the metropolis. The queues which were noticed in the early hours of Saturday had begun to increase by afternoon across the state. Many of the filling stations operated by major marketers were not selling while outlets owned by Independent Marketers were shut. At Ikorodu, Epe, Mile 12 and Lekki axis most filling stations who had products were selling above the official pump price. Reacting to the situation Alhaji Abiodun Lawal spokesman of NIPCO said the company was consistently loading and supplying to marketers, but the volume had marginally dropped. “I can confirm we are currently loading but I don’t have the statistics; however I must say that we don’t have enough supply at the moment. I think that explains the resurgence of queue at filling stations”, he said. Also, Mr Olufemi Adewole, the Executive Secretary of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketing Association, (DAPPMA) noted that there was shortage of petrol supply across the country. Adewole said that what is playing out at the moment is the preference of NNPC deploying more supply to the major marketers. “The truth is that there is short supply at the moment, if NNPC can raise supply we will be able to get to inland areas and focus on major cities, but I can tell you there is no much supply from NNPC,’’ he explained. (NAN)
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