Fuel Scarcity: More Nigerians suffer as NNPC announces 24-hour operations
The crisis has led to increased cost of transportation, and many were stranded at bus-stops Tuesday.
Nigeria’s fuel scarcity worsened Tuesday across many cities, as many struggled to go to work or engage in other daily routines.
The crisis has led to increased cost of transportation, and many people were left stranded at various bus stops on Tuesday as workers returned from work and students returned from schools.
This happened as the state-run NNPC in a statement on Tuesday evening said it had commenced 24-hour operations at its depots and retail outlets to restore normal supply and distribution of petrol across the country.
The corporation said it has over a billion litres of petrol that is safe for use in vehicles and machinery as of Tuesday.
The statement read, “NNPC Ltd wishes to reassure Nigerians that it has put adequate measures in place to accelerate the nationwide distribution of PMS earlier disrupted by the quarantine of methanol-blended petrol.
“The quarantine was a necessary step to safeguard our customers from the potential impact of this PMS grade on vehicles and machinery.
“As of today, NNPC has over One (1) billion Liters of certified PMS stock that is safe for use in vehicles and machinery.
“To accelerate distribution across the country, we have commenced 24-hour operations at our Depots and Retail outlets.
“As part of NNPC’s strategic restocking, over 2.3 billion litres of PMS is scheduled for delivery between now and the end of February 2022, which will restore the sufficiency level above the national target of 30 days.
“The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Depot Owners & Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria and the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria have also commenced 24-hour loading and dispensing activities in some of their designated outlets.
“Furthermore, NNPC’s monitoring team is collaborating with the Authority (NMDPRA) and other Security Agencies to ensure smooth distribution of PMS nationwide.
“NNPC implores Nigerians to avoid panic buying as there is a sufficient volume of PMS in-country and effort is being made to accelerate distribution to all filling stations,” it said.
A PREMIUM TIMES correspondent who visited petrol stations in Abuja on Tuesday afternoon found that many filling stations were shut, while others were besieged by motorcyclists, tricycle owners, as well as private and commercial drivers.
The black market prices of fuel rocketed Monday and Tuesday, with a 10 litre of petrol selling for between N4000 and N7000 in Lugbe, Jabi, Kubwa and Gwagwalada.
Traffic gridlocks appeared across some major parts of the city as many service lanes were closed to traffic due to queues from petrol stations.
“This situation has gotten to something else, I have been in this queue since 2 pm to get fuel at A.A.Rano airport road till now. This is 4 pm and the condition is very critical, so we need the government’s help so we can get out of this mess,” a taxi driver, Success Dans, at A. A Rano station along Airport Road, told PREMIUM TIMES.
A civil servant, who identified himself as Mr Sylvester said, “I must tell you the issue is so pathetic and the fuel we are even buying we are not sure of.
“Last week I bought fuel that damaged my fuel tank, we Nigerians are finding it difficult.
“This is a very difficult time and the money is not available and for you to get the fuel is something else,” he said.
Another government official said the scarcity of fuel has impacted negatively on the economic life of Abuja residents.
“I am a civil servant with a little take-home salary and the government wants me to keep spending my money on transport. I will not do that. I have promised myself not to go to work again till this issue is resolved,” a civil servant who gave his name as Amos said.
Another civil servant who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES said, “The whole thing is terrible, you can imagine having been here since morning nowhere to get fuel people are trying to bribe the way in.
“I took permission from the office to go get fuel around 11 and this is 4 pm still in the queue.
“And now, if I don’t get the fuel I can go to the office tomorrow and the funniest thing is that if you decide to drop your car at home, you can not get public transport and even if you get one they are very expensive,” he said.