Tension Rises Among Motorists As Fuel Queues Worsen In Abuja, Others
Petrol queues became lengthier on Wednesday in Abuja and neighbouring states of Kaduna, Nasarawa and Niger, as hundreds of motorists wondered if the situation would ever improve.
Many filling stations did not sell the Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, in Abuja and the surrounding states on Wednesday.
The few that dispensed the commodity were crowded, as motorists struggled to get petrol.
The situation led to traffic snarl on most of the roads where filling stations that dispensed petrol were located.
Right in front of the corporate headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Abuja, vehicular movement was not smooth, because motorists besieged the two filling stations, Conoil and Total, located opposite the oil firm.
Hundreds of petrol seekers, who crowded the NNPC mega station in Gwarimpa, a satellite town in the Federal Capital Territory, caused heavy traffic on the road leading to the outlet as well as on those located close to the station.
It was observed that the Nipco mega station on the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway that often dispensed the commodity to thousands of motorists was shut on Wednesday. Fuel attendants at the facility said the station had no product.
As usual, the two largest NNPC mega stations on the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, the Forte Oil station opposite Transcorp Hilton Abuja, the NNPC mega station in Central Area, as well as a few other outlets had massive queues of motorists on Wednesday.
“It is now becoming normal to spend hours queuing for petrol in Abuja and this is just too bad for an oil producing country,” Silas Agu, a motorist who was in a queue at the Conoil filling station opposite the NNPC headquarters, told our correspondent.
Petrol queues were also observed in satellite communities in Nasarawa, Niger and Kaduna, while black marketers of the product were conspicuously seen in front of the few filling stations that dispensed PMS.
The National Vice President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Maigandi, recently told our correspondent that the NNPC had commenced the direct supply of PMS to members of the body in order to effectively clear the fuel queues prevalent in parts of the country.
Maigandi had said, “The NNPC has imported products and our marketers have started loading. In the past, they (NNPC) give only major marketers and the NNPC retail outlets. But now, they have started giving independent petroleum marketers our share.
“So, definitely, I know there will be improvement by next week because our trucks have started loading since Friday. When the products they load get to the northern part of the country, there will be noticeable improvement.”
The NNPC had on several occasions claimed to have enough products to keep the country wet and advised motorists against panic-buying, but despite its claims the queues in Abuja and neighbouring states have not disappear.
The Department of Petroleum Resources in conjunction with the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Wednesday arrested the owner of a nameless filling station in Abuja and dispensed the 14,400 litres of petrol found in its storage facility free to motorists.
It was learnt that the fuel station was located in Zauda on the Gwagwa Deidei Road in the Federal Capital Territory.
The spokesperson for the Abuja office of the DPR, Saidu Mohammed, told our correspondent that the agency’s operations task force team led by the Abuja Zonal Controller, Abba Misau, also arrested the owner of the station.