• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Persistent fuel scarcity takes toll on Nigerians

Fuel scarcity bites deeper as motorists groan

The persistent fuel scarcity in the country is taking a heavy toll on Nigerians and businesses.

Nigerians are suffering from long queues, wearing and tearing for hours due to the country’s persistent fuel scarcity, which has continued into the New Year, and the price of petrol is beginning to eat deep into their pocket.

BusinessDay investigations showed that various fuel stations in Nigeria have shut down their petrol pumps, causing long queues and gridlock across the Lagos metropolitan and leaving many commuters stranded and in traffic.

Petrol pump prices have risen from the regulated price of N165 per litre to between N250 and N300 depending on filling stations and locations.

Felicia Badamosi who lives in Akoka narrated her ordeal of fuel scarcity and how expensive it has become.

“I walked around Akoka before getting petrol at MRS filling station; it was sold for N245 per litre, but I ended up buying N2,000 and it didn’t fill up my fuel gallon, I also had to pay a gallon fee of N200 and N1,000 to the attendant before she attended to me,” Ngozi said.

Another motorist who pledged anonymity said that he moved from Conoil to MRS when the former said it could no longer sell the product.

Read also: Nigeria’s December oil rig count highest in 2022

“I can’t buy petrol for as high as N400 per litre. How much will I charge my customers?” a motorist who simply identified himself as Fatai queried at Ikeja, Lagos.

Transportation fare in some parts of Lagos has skyrocketed by over 40 percent. For example, the fare from Ikeja to Costain used to cost N500, but now N700.

Fatai, who joined the queue at the MRS filling station at Ikeja said he was in the queue to get fuel for work tomorrow.

“My day has been ruined trying to get fuel,” he said. “I have been in this queue for over three hours and there’s still no sense of progress.”

“Some filling stations here comfortably leave the pump price of petrol at N500 per litre,” said Elizabeth Olabanji, a resident of Rivers State.

The student said she had to walk to her destination at the back of the long queues from a filling station in her area which caused traffic gridlock.

Fuel scarcity has been a major problem faced by Nigerians in recent times. Some months ago, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd said it is working to make the situation a thing of the past.

However, there has been little to no progress on that front as major oil marketers have called for the deregulation of the product.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said that subsidising the product is no longer sustainable. The Federal Government has moved to deregulate the product later in the year.