Long queues and frustration are extending in Lagos as fuel scarcity hits the metropolis, disrupting transportation and daily activities for many residents.
BusinessDay’s findings on Tuesday and Wednesday showed more filling stations in Lagos, including major energy marketers’ outlets, were shut to motorists.
A visit to key areas like Ikeja, Ikorodu, and Lagos Island revealed a stark picture. Several filling stations stand deserted and their pumps idle.
The few that opened to the public had long queues of vehicles at their pumps; most of the stations dispensing petrol used only one pump, thereby aggravating the queues.
Motorists expressed their anger and disappointment, narrating tales of spending hours in queues only to be turned away. Many feared the situation might worsen, impacting their livelihoods and daily routines.
Responding to the development, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited explained that the long queues in some filling stations in Lagos State were due to the ‘tightness’ and ‘brief distribution issue’.
Femi Soneye, NNPC Ltd spokesman said the state-owned company did not have supply issues, saying its products remained readily available. He added that the distribution issue in some areas had been resolved.
“We are pleased to confirm that there are no supply issues, and our products remain readily available.
“The recent tightness experienced in certain areas was due to a brief distribution issue in Lagos, which has since been resolved,” Soneye said.
Abubakar Maiganda, the national president of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) said loading disruption at the NNPC Ltd depots across the country has been a major challenge for his members in the past two weeks.
“The queue situation we are witnessing now is about loading issues. Most of our (IPMAN) trucks are there in Lagos and we are not getting the opportunity to load. So the problem has to do with supply and loading.
“We are yet to hear anything from the NNPCL on this even as IPMAN, we are not getting our allocation from NNPCL despite our pact with them. We cannot go to other private depots because their prices are too high and it doesn’t benefit us to buy from them because how much are we going to sell that to the public,” Maiganda said.