Fuel queues spread to Ogun, Oyo

Posted by News Express | 8 February 2022 | 413 times

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•Oyo fuel queue


Glitches in the supply of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol may have triggered the return of queues to filling stations in Lagos and Ogun suburbs, the Nigerian Tribune has learnt. 

According to Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Clement Isong, the queues were due to some operational challenges. However, he declined to give details of the challenge, saying that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is set to issue a statement concerning the issue. 

Nigerian Tribune had last week reported that due to adulterated fuel in circulation, which motorists said was causing damage to their vehicles, some fuel stations suspended operations following intervention by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Ibadan Depot, under the leadership of its chairman, Alhaji Bukola Mutiu, which set machinery in motion to check fuel stations dispensing adulterated fuel. 

Mutiu told the Nigerian Tribune that It was what marketers are being supplied from the private depots in Lagos that was responsible for the problem. 

Therefore, the queue may not be unconnected with this development. 

Resurfacing of fuel queues in Lagos is coming contrary to the report that the NNPC earlier told Nigerians not to panic, assuring them that it had sufficient PMS stock to meet their needs. According to some commercial drivers interviewed, queues were noticed in Ajah, Lekki, and Victoria Island on Sunday.

They alleged that some filling stations refused to attend to customers on Monday, while others opened their outlets but claimed that the product was not available. Queues were also noticed in Ibadan on Monday. 

When Nigerian Tribune moved round the town, there was no queue for the PMS in few locations visited, except some filling stations such as Mobil, NNPC, Enyo, Fatgbems and Warera AP, among others on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that were not selling the product to the public. 

Speaking with Nigerian Tribune on Monday in a telephone chat, Isong disclosed that the queue was due to ‘little supply hiccups’, saying that it had nothing to do with the suspension of subsidy’s removal as being speculated by the public. 

“It was caused by a little supply hiccups. We have asked them to ramp up the supply. NNPC is set to issue a statement, so let’s wait for that.” 

Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, said he did not know the reason for the queues on Sunday, explaining that tankers have been loading PMS from the depot without delay. 

He alleged that panic buying from members of the public led to the queue. President, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Chinedu Okonkwo, stated that members of the association were still selling the product to the public, only that their profit margin had not improved. 

Commenting on the postponement of subsidy’s removal by 18 months by the Federal Government, he described pronouncement by the authority as ‘postponing the evil days.” Meanwhile, the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) on Monday threatened to withdraw its haulage services if the Federal Government (FG) does not immediately address its rising operation cost. 

It said its members now find it difficult to sustain the business due to the regulated freight rate which is paid in arrears. 

The association’s National President, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman, in a statement, described the business environment as unbearable. 

“Therefore, transporters whose freight rate is fixed and regulated cannot sustain the business if nothing is done. 

“We can’t operate. We can’t work if nothing is done to increase the freight rate. The condition is unbearable because of the cost of diesel,” he said. 

He urged the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to urgently increase the freight rate to reflect the present cost of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) diesel and spare parts. 

He disclosed that the ex-depot cost of diesel soared to N401 per litre on Monday even as he expressed worry that this might hit N420 per litre at the filling stations if something is not done urgently. 

To this end, he called on the NMDPRA Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed, to urgently convene a stakeholders’ meeting to increase the freight rate and address other pressing issues of cost of operation. 

“We are appealing to the CEO of the downstream regulatory agency to sit down with us immediately and ensure that the freight rate is increased to reflect the rising cost of diesel and other spare parts.” 

Explaining the rising cost of diesel, Othman revealed “We have a problem. Today, the price of AGO ex-depot is N401 per litre. It means that in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, it will reach N420 to N430. At the filling station, it will reach like N450. 

“It is just to regulate our rising operation cost. It is as simple as that. Otherwise, our people have parked their trucks and more people are going to park.” (Nigerian Tribune)


Source: News Express

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