Plan by organised labour to embark on nationwide strike from Wednesday to mount pressure on government to backpedal on its fuel subsidy removal has triggered panic buying in Abuja and other parts of the country.
A survey showed that long queues, which disappeared from filling stations soon after fuel subsidy was removed, has started appearing at many filling stations again. For instance, the queues, which started to gather in many parts of Abuja on Saturday, became unduly long yesterday evening as peopled rushed to buy the product for use this week.
Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, attributed the persisting fuel queues in parts of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to the impending strike by labour.
President of IPMAN, Chief Obasi Lawson disclosed in a telephone interview that the current queue is a result of fears by motorists, who do not want to be caught unawares by the strike, come Wednesday.
He said: “You know NLC and TUC threatened to shut down the country on Wednesday. The persisting queues may have resulted from motorists, who have engaged in panic buying to avoid being caught up in the strike.”
Lawson, however urged Nigerians to be patient and allow the forces of demand and supply to force down the pump price of PMS. In Lagos, queues were not noticed in the metropolis, but in the out skirts, including Ikorodu and Ibefun.
The development was also noticed in Kaduna. Spokesman of Tanker Drivers Association, Mr. Abdul Abdulkadir said in a telephone interview that fuel queues had not been completely eliminated in Kaduna State.
He said many people still spend some time before they can get fuel to buy at the filling stations. Investigations showed that labour leaders used the weekend to strategise on the ways and means of staging the planned strike.