How adulterated fuel caused petrol scarcity in Lagos [Pulse Explainer]

The adulterated fuel has a high content of methanol and ethanol.

How adulterated fuel in circulation caused petrol scarcity in Lagos.

Last weekend, fuel scarcity hit the Island axis of Lagos State. The scarcity led to long queues at fuel stations as residents panicked and struggled to fill their vehicle tanks.

By Monday, February 7, 2022, the situation worsened as some petrol stations in the state were shuttered because they had no supply, while those with supply attracted long queues.

Expectedly, the scarcity and the resultant queues at fuel stations caused gridlocks on Lagos Island with commuters trapped in hectic traffic.

On the mainland, the situation is not different, as many filling stations refuse to attend to customers that besiege their gates.

The fuel scarcity being witnessed in Lagos and some parts of the country has been attributed to the efforts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to withdraw a wrong specification of petrol from circulation.

This wrong specification is said to be contaminated or adulterated petroleum that is harmful to vehicles.

According to petrol marketers, the adulterated fuel has a high content of methanol and ethanol, which are outside the official specification of Nigeria’s petrol.

Meanwhile, there have been complaints from some motorists on the quality of fuel they filled their vehicle tanks with lately.

A video circulating on social media showed a petrol attendant complaining about adulterated petrol supplied to his station in Lagos.

He said the contaminated petrol has damaged the engines of two vehicles, adding that the owners of the vehicles have asked the management of his filling station to fix them.

But in a bid to contain the harmful implications of the adulterated petrol in circulation, the NNPC is said to be doing a product tracing to recall the product from circulation.

This effort by the NNPC has been the main reason fuel scarcity is biting hard on Lagosians.

Some petrol marketers have said that the fuel scarcity will persist in Lagos and other parts of the country until depots are restocked with adequate and quality products.

A marketer who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said: “As we speak, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd is working to ensure that this disruption to the supply chain is addressed as soon as possible.

“However, there is the challenge of logistics and how to compensate those who were supplied with the adulterated products.

“The NNPC is working with marketers on this and once the depots are restocked, tankers will start loading and supply will improve across the country.

The marketer said until this is achieved, queues will remain at the petrol stations because of the panic already created.

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