Abuja Residents Groan Over Fuel Crisis, Queues
Many motorists in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been groaning over the current fuel crisis and continuous queues at fuel stations.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored fuel stations in Abuja reports that many stations are not dispensing products, while the few that are dispensing are causing serious traffic due to long queues.
The motorists also expressed displeasure over the cash crunch in the country, which they say is compounding the issue, and appealed to the Federal Government to intervene swiftly.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) had attributed the fuel queues in Abuja and some parts of the country to restriction on businesses and movement during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
The NNPCL said operations had resumed at the depots and trucks are being dispatched to various parts of the country.
A motorist, Mr Aloysius Osita, told NAN that the resurfacing of fuel scarcity is adding to the demoralised state of residents.
He added that “I thought that the issue of fuel scarcity has been addressed finally, but I was surprised to see queues everywhere.
“It has worsened the situation, in view of queuing for fuel and Point of Sale (POS) payment at the same time.
“After queuing for fuel, you will also queue for POS, which may decline and alter the fuel purchase.”
Another motorist, Mr Gbemi Olugbenga, expressed concern over the unavailability of products and urged the regulatory authority to hasten products distribution to cushion the effect.
Olugbenga said “sometimes, some fuel stations are taken over by touts who usually hijack the fuel station’s management, causing more hardship and traffic for other commuters.”
Some of the residents also lamented the lack of fuel to power their generators for businesses and domestic use.
NAN reports that “black marketers” are also seen making brisk sales, selling 10 litres of petrol at N4,000 through electronic transfer or POS payment, and N3,500 for cash payment.
One of the sellers who would not want to be identified said the “black marketers” had been facing difficulties in getting fuel from the stations, adding that most of them insist on cash payment instead of transfer or POS payment.
Meanwhile, the NNPCL retail outlets sell a litre of petrol at N940, while other fuel stations sell at N950 per litre.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) had said it was working with other stakeholders to mitigate the tightness being experienced in the distribution of fuel.