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Fuel queues persist as Kachikwu’s deadline comes and goes

By News Express on 08/04/2016

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Despite assurance by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu that fuel queues will ease nationwide yesterday, investigations revealed long queues were still present at filling stations within Abuja city centre and along major expressways in Gwagwalada, Zuba, Nyanya and Kubwa axis of the nation’s capital while many outlets have not opened for business in weeks.

Our correspondent, who monitored the fuel situation in the city yesterday, observed that most filling stations were not selling as they closed shop to motorists, looking for the product.

Further investigations revealed that at a few major petrol outlets sell at the approved pump price, there are the ever lengthy unending queues while some others purportedly stockpile the commodity, and sell to black marketers at night.

It was also suspected that some of the major petrol outlets used the cover of darkness to sell the products to some desperate motorists at higher prices.

The situation has forced most of the motorists to park their vehicles at home while some residents have resorted to either stay indoors or trek during morning and evening rush hours to and from their various places of work.

Expectedly, there are fewer vehicles plying the road, and few commercial operators along the major routes inside and outside the FCT have doubled or even tripled their fares to various destinations.

And woes of commuters in the nation’s capital and environs have continued feeling the impact of the situation, as reflected in hikes in transport fares, as the scarcity keep widening.

Also, they have started experiencing difficulties on their usual route to work, as they had to wait for hours at bus stations for vehicles.

In Lagos, the queues have not disappeared either, but there are high hopes that the hitherto chaotic fuel situation in the state will abate, 24 hours after the Lagos state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode appealed for patience and calm following weeks of erratic supply of the commodity.

The absence of Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise known petrol, resulted in untold hardship to citizens across the country for over two weeks, even as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other subsidiary agencies in charge of regulation, monitoring and distributions battle to ameliorate the situation.

In Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country, not only did prices of goods skyrocket, fares went through the roof for as much as 200 percent increase, with commuters trekking to work in some instance.

However, respite appears to have come close to town as findings indicate that distribution of the commodity has increased within Lagos and surrounding satellite settlement and communities. Motorists expressed hope that with the present situation, the lingering scarcity could disappear by Saturday.

But the artificial price is yet to go away as petrol filling station has imposed a 100 percent price increase while the crisis last, as the product, which official price is pegged at N86 and N87 for mega stations and independent marketers, now oscillate between N180 and N300 depending on the station and location.

The NNPC for the umpteenth time had assured Nigeria that the situation will improve before the onset of the weekend even as controversy trails the statements credited to the Minister of State for Petroleum who doubles as NNPC GMD, Ibe Kachukwu recently.

However, Garba Deen Muhammed, Spokesman of NNPC, told Peoples Daily yesterday: “Queues don’t disappear just like that because they took time to form, but our position has also remained that by April the situation will disappear and we have already started seeing the improvement.

“There is fuel but the problem is with the logistic of supply which is being dealt with. Cargoes have been delivering products 247, but the slight challenge is with the logistic of supply.”

He said pipelines have not been working, but are now being fixed and in a matter of two weeks fuel will be pumped to all locations and then products will be available. (Peoples Daily)

•Photo shows chaotic Lagos fuel queue.

Source News Express

Posted 08/04/2016 1:45:15 PM





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