Oil & Gas

Petrol queues spread to Lagos

The scarcity of petrol that started in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) six days ago has spread to Lagos.

 

Yesterday, motorists at Nigeria’s commercial hub, spent hours at the few filling stations selling the product, reports The Nation.

 

An on-the-spot assessment by our reporters showed that many of the stations that dispensed the product were independent marketers.

 

Many major marketers did not sell petrol.

 

The situation presented an opportunity to the independent stations to raise pump prices. The cost of a litre ranged between N610 to N800 depending on the area of purchase.

 

Petrol attendants and black market hawkers also made quick money from desperate motorists.

 

One of our reporters who drove from Akoka to Oshodi observed that only one filling station (Mobil ) at Vono Bus Stop in Mushin was open for business.

 

There were also queues at filling stations operated by TotalEnergies and Tecno Oil in Festac Town. NNPC Limited’s petrol station on Ago Palace Way had long lines of motorists waiting to buy the product.

 

At NNPC Limited filling station on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, a motorist, who identified himself simply as Richard, said he willingly offered N1,000 to an attendant to hire a keg and buy petrol for him.

 

‘’Apart from the N1,000, I gave him N500 for his effort. There was no way I could have joined the queue because I had an emergency to attend to,’’ he told our correspondent.

 

In the FCT, the queues lengthened with a litre of petrol selling for between N720 and N820 at independent stations. At those run by major marketers, it N690.

 

The NNPC Limited retail outlets that operated still sold for N617 per litre but with very long vehicular queues.

 

On the other hand, black market operators sold the product for as much as N1,100 to N1,300 per litre.

 

But as motorists and commuters groaned, the NNPC Limited warned against hoarding of petrol. It assured of improved in supplies soon.

 

In a statement by its Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Mr. Olufemi Soneye, the NNPC Limited blamed the scarcity on a number of factors, including thunderstorms and floods.

 

The company explained that the unfavourable weather conditions did not only affect ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of petrol but ‘’truck load outs and transportation of the product to retail outlets.

 

It added that there was need for caution to be upheld during rainstorms and lightning because of the inflammability of petroleum products.

 

Soneye said in the statement that there was no cause for alarm as ‘’loading has commenced in areas where these challenges have subsided.’’

 

The statement reads in part: “The NNPC Ltd wishes to state that the disruption of fuel queues seen in the FCT and some parts of the country, were as a result of disruption of ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, between Mother Vessels and Daughter Vessels resulting from recent thunderstorm.

 

“The adverse weather condition also affected berthing at jetties, truck load-outs and transportation of products to filling stations, causing a disruption in station supply logistics.”

 

He added that adherence to safety regulations as advised by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) is mandatory as ‘’any deviation could pose severe danger to the trucks, filling stations and human lives.’’

 

Soneye also said the scarcity was compounded by consequential flooding of truck routes especially at coastal corridors to the FCT.

 

Executive Secretary, Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN), Clement Isong is on the same page with the NNPC Limited on the cause of the scarcity.

 

Isong said: “The supply chain was disrupted. For a few days last week, there was heavy rain which disrupted operations at depots and loading bays. Petrol cannot be loaded during rainstorm and lightening.

 

‘’The roads were flooded and trucks could either not move or were moving slowly. So we lost two or three days of loading activities and it’s the backflow of this that has led to the queues. But the queues will disappear because petrol is very much available, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

 

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