BusinessDay

Fuel queues resurface in Lagos as marketers blame NNPC for supply gap

There seems to be anxiety and confusion in Nigeria’s commercial capital as queues resurfaced in filling stations across the metropolis on Monday morning.

The long queues were also noticed along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ikorodu road, and the Lagos Island.

Findings by BusinessDay showed motorists queued for hours at filling stations in different parts of the city, seeking to purchase fuel, with some spending as much as six hours or more.

The National Operations Controller of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mike Osatuyi, explained to BusinessDay that the current scarcity was caused by NNPC’s failure to supply petrol.

The union leader said while members of his union were active in loading and supplying the product across the regions, “they can only supply what is available”.

Read also: Fuel scarcity hits Lagos in pictures

Asked if the scarcity has a relationship with the agitation for price hike, he said: “I am not the government so I can’t answer this. Only the government can determine this,” he said.

The development is coming days after scarcity surfaced in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, and Abuja.

Efforts to contact Garba Deen Muhammad, the spokesman of the NNPC, on the situation were abortive last night as his mobile phone was “switched off”.

Last week, the South-West zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) threatened to direct its members to increase petrol and diesel pump prices.

Dele Tajudeen, IPMAN zonal chairman in the South-West zone, had claimed that his members had been unable to buy the products from any of the government-owned depots for the past six months, forcing them to purchase from private depot owners who have continued to take advantage of the situation.

In February, Nigeria experienced petrol scarcity, lasting for over one month — caused by the recall of off-spec petrol in circulation.

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