The long petrol queues have made a return to Lagos ahead of the yuletide. There'll be no prizes for guessing why.
How totally convenient!
On Monday, November 4, 2017, Pulse drove round the nation’s commercial capital and only a few gas stations were dispensing the product.
The NNPC gas station on Kingsway Road in Ikoyi, was shuttered to buyers in the early hours. Mobil on Ozumba Mbadiwe also offered skeletal services.
Most gas stations on the mainland like the Mobil in Aguda, Surulere weren’t dispensing petrol. At the Conoil in Aguda, motorists were creating a rowdy scene, sufficient enough to bring the police in.
In Ikeja, queues have been forming well into Tuesday morning and Total on Mobolaji Bank Anthony way is a confused mess of angry people.
Across Lagos, commuters are finding it difficult hitching rides to work and commercial bus operators have since hiked fares.
But the government has put the queues and apparent shortage of petrol down to panic buying.
Apparently, marketers are hoarding the product in anticipation of a price hike announcement from the government, a few sources in the energy sector have told Pulse.
In a statement, Ndu Ughamadu, who is Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division of the NNPC said the queues have returned because there’s plenty of panic buying. He also said the government has no plans to hike pump price of petrol.
There have been rifts between the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association over discrepancies in ex-depot prices of petroleum products.
Ughamadu said that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and pump price of N143/N145 per litre remain.
He assured the public that the corporation has enough stock of petroleum products to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country throughout the yuletide.
The NNPC publicist also urged motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumours of an impending fuel price hike.
“The NNPC has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders, including petroleum marketers and industry unions to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond.
“We enjoin motorists not to engage in panic buying or indulge in the dangerous practice of stocking petroleum products in jerry cans at home.
“The Petroleum Products Marketing Company and NNPC Retail Limited are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation,’’ Ughamadu said.