Against the backdrop of the ongoing fuel scarcity, the prices have skyrocketed as petrol is currently selling at N200 per litre in Lagos and Ogun states.
When Nigerian Tribune visited some filling stations across Lagos and Ogun states, it was observed that few filling stations, which had fuel, were selling at above the recommended price of N87 per litre.
Conoil filling station situated at Magboro, Ogun State was selling at N87 per litre but the motorists were mandated to pay N200 as ‘commission’ to the attendants, before they sell to them.
Capital Oil filling station, situated close to Berger Bus Stop was dispensing at N87 per litre but there were long queues that stretched to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Fatgbems filling station situated opposite Capital Oil was also dispensing at N87 per litre, while Acorn Petroleum at Estate Bus Stop was dispensing at N100 per litre.
Black market operators at Maryland Bus Stop, opposite Mobil and Oando filling stations, respectively, were selling 30-litre gallon at N6,000 meaning N200 per litre.
Meanwhile, 11 vessels laden with petrol and diesel were reported to have arrived at Lagos ports, on Thursday.
According to ‘Shipping Position’, a daily publication of Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), “the vessels conveyed kerosene, petrol and base oil.”
It added that 37 ships were being expected at the ports from April 30 to May 23.
According to it, 13 of the ships will sail into the ports with food items, including rice, buckwheat, bulk sugar, salt and frozen fish. It disclosed that containers were expected to be brought in by 12 ships, while seven others would berth at the ports with general cargo.
Frustrated Lagos residents were, however, seen queuing at filling stations till late at night around 10.00 pm, on Wednesday, while others were ready to buy at any cost, others complained about the adverse effect of the scarcity and lack of willingness of the marketers to sell.
While addressing the impatient crowd, most of whom came with jerry cans, one of the senior staff of Conoil filling station outlets at Maryland told the crowd that though there was petrol to sell, he wasn’t sure if the crowd on the queue were the final consumers, adding that they were cautious of selling to people that would end up selling at black market prices.
He, however, noted that unless the crowd would agree to buy just five litres per person, which would serve their immediate needs, they would not sell.
In Ibadan, long queues, jacked up fares, stranded persons, fewer vehicles, shut filling stations, long faces, private turned public vehicles, abandoned vehicles was the scenario, as fuel scarcity closed in on its climax on Thursday.
From Bodija to Challenge, Apata, Mokola, Molete, Oke-Ado, Orita, the story was the same as residents were treated to the harsh reality of the ongoing failure of oil marketers to lift petroleum products since the outset of the week, owing to the federal government’s failure to settle debt owed marketers.
A Mobil fuel attendant, Peter, speaking with Nigerian Tribune, said the situation would only subside if the Federal Government paid outstanding debt that will facilitate the lifting of petroleum products by the oil marketers.
He added that the last stock received by any of the major oil marketers in Ibadan was last Friday which, according to him, had been exhausted in most filling stations. Consequently, the few filling stations that still had the product will obviously exhaust them at the weekend.
Residents of Kaduna State also have been battling with the scarcity of petrol across the state as they decry its effect on economic activities in the state.
The non availability of the product has created long queues at many filling stations across the state as independent marketers and black marketers have capitalised on the situation to increase their pump prices.
Only few of the petrol stations in the state have been opened for business since the beginning of the year, as a result of no petroleum product to sell.
Some residents lamented that the scarcity of petrol has drastically affected their economic and social activities.
Spokesperson for the Department of Petroleum Resources Kaduna zone, Mr Rabiu Bello, in an interview, attributed the scarcity to the inability of the Federal Government to fulfill its promise to pay the arrears of the subsidy claims to marketers.
He said that this situation, coupled with the suspension of production at Kaduna refinery for quite some time, forced the marketers to down tool.
Mr Bello further explained that the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) relies solely on the few bridging that comes from the southern depot to supply states in the North, a situation which he said had drastically affected the distribution of PMS to the state and environs.
Many petrol stations sold the product as high as N115 per litre against the regulated price of N87, adding that it remains difficult to get the product as the queues in front of the stations stretched for kilometres.
As the situation worsens, DPR said there was noting it could do to weather the storm at the moment, except to ensure that the few supplies to the state are adequately distributed and sold to the public at approved pump price.
The residents, however, called on the Federal Government and the incoming administration to find a lasting solution to the challenges in the oil and gas sector, in order to ensure that all petroleum products are made available to the public.