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Petrol crisis worsens as Abuja commuters get stranded

09 April 2015, 08:23Aregbeshola Isaac

Abuja - The fuel scarcity that resurfaced in Abuja on Monday is biting harder as motorists in the city queue for hours at petrol filling stations in search of petrol.

The fuel queue allegedly disappeared from the stations immediately after March 28 elections.

The queue, which resurfaced on Monday in some of the stations, had spread across the city by Tuesday night.

It was observed that most of the filling stations that were having fuel before the Easter break had become dried.

Many commuters were stranded at different bus stops due to lack of commercial vehicles while the few ones that were plying the road jerked up their fare by 50 per cent.

Hawkers of petrol in jerry cans cashed in on the scarcity and sold the product between N150 and N200 per litre, depending on bargain power.

Many obscure filling stations, especially in Suleja and on Zuba-Gwagwalada Road, sold the product between N110 and N120 per litre which is far above the regulated rate.

Only petrol filling stations within the city and those belonging to major marketers in other areas dispensed petrol at the stipulated N87 per litre.

At the NNPC mega station on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Central Area, long queues of vehicles were on three lanes, blocking the entire road and forcing motorists to drive against the traffic.

The situation was also the same at the Forte Oil, adjacent the NNPC mega station, where the queue stretched to the UAC fence early in the morning but later stopped selling.

The ConOil and Total filling stations opposite NNPC Headquarters were also selling with long queues.

The queue formed a circle round through the Bureau of Statistics Complex to the Unity Bank building back to NNPC Towers, Abuja.

ConOil station, NNPC franchised station and another private filling station on Olusegun Obasanjo way were not selling.

Also read: Man with earphones on killed by train in Lagos

Most of the filling stations on Obafemi Awolowo Way were dried, except  Oando at the junction of Wuse Zone 6, Mobil at Arab Junction and Eterna Oil filling station.

The situation was not different with most filling stations on Airport Road, AYA, Maraba, Kubwa , Suleja and other neighbouring towns.

Most motorists said they were having difficult time at filling stations before they could get fuel to buy.

A civil servant, Abdullahi Abduwahab, said all efforts to get fuel previous night proved abortive as most of them refused to sell.

Abduwahab said he got to the office late in spite of waking up early to buy petrol.

Joan Nwoagu said she woke up by 5 a.m. to join the queue for petrol.

"When I discovered that the queue was long, I left and came back early this morning to buy fuel at ConOil opposite NNPC Headquarters," she said. 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the department of Petroleum resources had attributed the situation to panic buying. 

Ohi Alegbe, NNPC spokesperson, had in a statement earlier, cautioned motorists against panic buying and stockpiling the products.

He said there was enough fuel in the stock that could last for months.

Saidu Mohammed, the DPR spokesperson, also said the queue was due to panic buying. 



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