• Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Fuel scarcity bites deeper as motorists groan

Fuel scarcity bites deeper as motorists groan

Motorists in Lagos are facing long queues and frustration as fuel scarcity grips the metropolis. The situation, which began earlier this week, has seen several filling stations shut down or operating with limited supplies, leading to panic buying and inflated prices on the black market.

BusinessDay findings showed there were long queues in many filling stations across Lagos State though the National Association of Road Transport Owners has called off its strike.

Commuters report spending hours in queues, often only to be turned away when fuel runs out. “I’ve been waiting here for three hours, and I’m not even sure I’ll get any fuel,” said John, a taxi driver waiting at a filling station in Ikeja. “This is seriously affecting my business, and I don’t know how much longer I can afford this.”

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The queue was borne out of fear by Nigerians that premium motor spirit might become scarce as a result of the now-suspended NARTO strike.

It was learnt that the refusal of the tanker drivers to lift fuel on Monday and Tuesday also had affected filling stations owned by independent marketers, many of whom had run out of supply.

In major areas in Lagos, the queues continued to build up, causing traffic gridlock on major roads.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Nigerians stormed filling stations to engage in panic buying.

However, the impact on Lagosians is undeniable. Transportation costs have skyrocketed, with some commuters reporting doubling or tripling their usual fares. Businesses reliant on fuel for operations are also facing disruption, with some forced to reduce working hours or even shut down temporarily.

The situation has sparked anger and frustration among residents, who are already grappling with high inflation and economic hardship. Social media is awash with complaints about the scarcity, with many calling for the government to take immediate action to resolve the crisis.

“This is unacceptable,” said Sarah, a businesswoman who relies on her car for work. “The government needs to do something about this fuel scarcity before it cripples the entire city.”

BusinessDay recalls that the tanker drivers on Monday parked their trucks, refusing to lift fuel over the high cost of operations.

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Yusuf Othman, NARTO’s president in a letter to truck drivers, said NARTO had made several efforts to secure negotiations for appropriate and commensurate freight rates for its operations from all authorities concerned in the industry, especially the major marketers, without any positive result.

Meanwhile, Lagosians have lamented over the fuel scarcity that struck many neighbourhoods in the state.

On X (formerly Twitter), @EricaNlewedim described the development as bad news that was becoming too much.

“The bad news is just too much. What is it? Ahah! And now fuel scarcity, I’m tired of being an adult in this generation,” the user wrote.