Petrol queues resurface, marketers sell ₦350 per litre

Panic reaction of possible adjustment in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, (PMS), also referred to as petrol, has lengthened queues at some filling stations in Lagos.

Long queues resurfaced at some fuel stations in Lagos metropolis on Monday, with motorists in panic buying across the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that barely hours after the new President, Bola Tinubu, said, “fuel subsidy is gone”, long queues resurfaced across petrol stations in major cities in Lagos, as some stations began shutting their pumps.

NAN correspondent who visited some areas such as Ikeja, Ojodu, Epe, Ikorodu, Ketu, Maryland, Bariga and Ikorodu Road, among others, reports that there were long queues, while some were shutdown resulting in gridlock.

Panic reaction of possible adjustment in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, (PMS), also referred to as petrol, has lengthened queues at some filling stations in Lagos.

Some major oil marketers stations that were opened were not selling fuel on the account of awaiting directives from headquarters.

Meanwhile, a few areas of the metropolis monitored by NAN, showed cars queuing up, while other buyers were seen with different sizes of kegs and jerrycans to buy the product.

Some of the fuel stations owned by Independent marketers seized the opportunity to jerk up the price from N184 per litre to as high as N350 per litre.

Other fuel stations that had earlier opened for business, later shut their gates, apparently, hoarding the product.

On Ikorodu road, the few places where the product is being sold had vehicles scampering for it, while commuters were seen stranded at various bus stops waiting to board commercial bus.

Few of the buses that were on the road for business hiked the fares between 50 and 100 per cent over fear of impending scarcity.

A motorist who identified himself as Mr Julius Audu at G&G Filling Station in Somolu, said the station was shutdown by the manager and declared they were no longer dispensing.

The manager declined to comment and provided no reason.

“Scarcity is coming, or they are about to create one,” said a cab driver, who simply gave his name as Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said he had waited in line for over 40 minutes and was unsure he would get enough supplies.

NAN reports that NNPC stations in most parts of Lagos were dispensing but they had large queues as many were seen hurling 50-litre cans to buy, apparently for resale on the black market.

Prices sold at most petrol stations owned by independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has adjusted to N350 per liter.

Many petrol station owners were reportedly hoarding the product in anticipation of a price increase.

The immediate past chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, who doubles as the Managing Director, 11 Plc, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, said: “This is a welcome development.

“The country is bleeding every day and we are getting to a stage where if we are not careful all our revenue will be going into world-serving debt and going into the subsidy. This means we have no money left to do any other things, such as paying salaries.

“The people kicking against this interest will end up suffering even more.

“The amount of money spent on this subsidy has been documented in so many different foray and different places. People have talked about it over the years and to make matters worse a lot of it is going toward subsiding other companies in Africa, hence it has to go.”

Oyebanji, who noted that the fuel subsidy removal was long overdue, said: “I have been an advocate of the removal of fuel subsidy because it is not benefiting the ordinary man but rather the elites who drive cars.

” So, I was pleased with the planned removal.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd., NNPCL, commended the decision by the Federal Government to remove subsidy on Petrol.

Malam Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, noted that the removal of the subsidy, which had been a burden on its cash flow, would free up funds to enable optimal operations in the company.

Reacting to scarcity already being experienced , he assured Nigerians of sufficient supply of the product.

He said the NNPCL also monitoring all its distribution networks to ensure compliance.

Similarly, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has warned Nigerians against panic buying across the country.

Mr Kimchi Apollo, General Manager, Corporate Communications of NMDPRA, in a statement, said that the removal was in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (2021) which provides for total deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to drive investment and growth.

“We are working closely with NNPC Limited and other key stakeholders to guarantee a smooth transition, avoid any disruptions in supply as well as ensure that consumers are not short-changed in any form.

“The authority assures that there is ample supply of PMS to meet demand as we have taken necessary steps to ensure distribution channels remain uninterrupted and fuel is readily available at all filling stations across the country.

“We, therefore, call on Nigerians to remain calm and resist the urge to stockpile as it poses significant safety hazard,” he said.

The spokesman, however, reassures all Nigerians that the removal of subsidy on PMS is a step towards building a more sustainable and prosperous future for our nation.

He said the authority would continue to monitor activities and implement necessary measures to enhance transparency and accountability in the petroleum downstream sector.

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