28 December 2012

Nigeria: Fuel Queues Return in Lagos As Supply Worsens

Long queues of vehicles Thursday returned in filling stations in some parts of Lagos State as fuel supply tightened with most filling stations, especially those operated by the independent marketers claiming to be out of stock of products, THISDAY has gathered.

THISDAY's investigation revealed that there were long queues in the filling stations owned by the major marketers, while most independent marketers were under lock and key.

While some motorists blamed the scarcity on marketers, who hoard products in anticipation of increase in official pump price in January 1, 2013, others attributed the situation to scarcity of products, as well as dislocation in supply due to recent pipeline fires.

The recent pipeline fire in Ije-Ododo community in Ojo Local Government Area of the state had dashed hope for full restoration of normal supply as pumping of fuel from the Atlas Cove Depot to Ejigbo Depot, all in Lagos, was disrupted.

With this development, all the tankers, which were programmed to lift products from Ejigbo depot this season, were not able to do so, worsening the supply situation.

However, Western Zonal President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, told THISDAY last night that most of the loading depots did not have fuel, contrary to claims by the government.

"Tanker drivers are stranded as there are no products to load. There are no products in stock. Government claimed it was because of pipeline fire at Arepo but we thank God that Arepo has been repaired. The truth is that there is no fuel. We are just managing the situation to avoid crisis until government finds permanent solution to it," he said.

Total filling station and other stations operated by the independent marketers in the Alaba International area claimed they had no stock of petrol THURSDAY.

Conoil and African Petroleum filling stations in Ojo-Igbede area of Alaba International were however selling at normal price yesterday afternoon but the queues of vehicles were very long.

Long queues were also witnessed at Oando Filling Station in Egbeda, but the station was selling at normal price.

However, most of the stations in the area were not selling as they claimed that they had no product.

In the Isolo area, the petrol attendants in one of the filling stations operated by one of the major marketers were collecting N100 from each motorist before they were allowed entry into the station to buy fuel.

The station was however selling at normal official pump price of N97 per litre.

In Berger-Alagbole-Ikeja axis, many filling stations in the area were also not selling petrol because they claimed they had no stock.

The situation was the same in the filling stations located in Apapa; Victoria Island, Lekki and Epe.

It was gathered that the few filling stations in Epe, which had products were selling at N110 per litre to motorists and N120 to people, who bought with gallons.

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