Nigeria : Fuel scarcity leads to long queues in Lagos, Port Harcourt & others


Traffic gridlock has emerged in many parts of Lagos metropolis as drivers and other people on Tuesday, for the second day running, stormed fuel stations in panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, otherwise called petrol.

Following the supply of a wrong specification of petrol in some parts of the country, and its subsequent removal in compliance with a government order, long queues have once more returned to petrol stations in Abuja, parts of Lagos, and some other states.

The effect was heavily felt in the following: Lagos Island, Ikeja, Ojota, part of Alimosho, Agege, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, LASU-Iba Road, Ikoyi, among others.

Motorists were seen in the early hours, precisely, 6.30 am, queueing at Mobil Fuel Station, Council-Ikotun Road, Alimosho, where PMS was dispensed via only one nozzle point with four orders inactive.

Also at the fuel station on Egbeda road, Lagos, fuel attendants were seen turning back motorists from entering their premises claiming insufficient oil products.

The situation has resulted in total confusion and long queues of vehicles at various filling stations.

The scarcity situation was first noticed on Monday when long queues of vehicles dotted around fuel stations as motorists struggled to buy PMS, otherwise known as petrol, which was believed to have been escalated by increased demand of the product due to power blackout.

The long queues have been causing traffic gridlock at various locations with men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, seeming overwhelmed with high volume of vehicles.

THISDAY learnt that the shortage of supply from the sole importer, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), had worsened the situation.

In Abuja and surrounding states, majority of filling stations were shut and motorists spent hours in the sun struggling to buy from the few that were open, and causing serious traffic jams in parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) blamed the shortage of supply on issues surrounding the presence of bad fuel in the market as well as undersupply from the national oil company.

The particular cargo with the product was said to have high sulphur, while marketers were advised not to sell to consumers, with at least 100 million litres already in circulation at the time the bad fuel was discovered.

Though, the situation seemed to be under control but it was projected that the development might get worse by Wednesday if the situation persists.

However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Limited, has allayed fears of any hitch in the supply of petroleum products with assurance of availability, despite reported cases of scarcity of the products, especially petrol, in some parts of the country.

In a tweet by King Adewale Ojomo, the current fuel scarcity being experienced in some parts of Lagos is attributed to importation of bad fuel in circulation that is capable of damaging the engine of vehicles.