7 February 2018

Nigeria: Fuel Scarcity Holds Abuja Residents to Ransom Despite Senate's Ultimatum

The effects of the lingering fuel scarcity is not receding in the Capital city of Abuja, and may have even defied every logic, as the city was on Monday, thrown into increasing traffic as motorists spend hours on queues searching for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The Development may be ridiculing a seven-day ultimatum issued by the Senate on January 25, asking the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to find a lasting solution to the persistent fuel scarcity across the country.

Most fuel stations were under lock across the city, while the few that opened for business were besieged by heavy traffic of motorists and people, who were jostling to buy petroleum products.

A haulage expert at the Suleja depot, where products are distributed to the FCT, who pleaded anonymity, said there was a sharp decline in trucking in the depot close to about 30 per cent.

"I don't think this problem will be solved until marketers are allowed to bring in products, and sell at landing cost. Products are not coming into the depot as before. From my records, there is already a sharp reduction of about 30 per cent," he said.

But the spokesman of NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, insisted that the Corporation alongside its sister agencies, was doing everything possible to ensure normalcy returned to the country.

"We have increased truck-out of petrol to Abuja to 90 trucks per day to ensure that all the queues disappear," Ughamadu said.

He blamed the situation in the FCT to diversion of trucks by greedy marketers, who want to sell at exorbitant prices.

Ughamadu said the agencies monitoring the situation have arrested numbers of errant operators, including players, who were diverting products to the Benin Republic.

This comes as the Kaduna State Government warned petroleum marketers against the diversion of products to the black market; as such acts have worsened the scarcity of products in the state.

The government also directed marketers and other stakeholders to ensure that petrol was sold at N145/litre.

A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, further said security agencies had been directed to monitor petrol stations day and night to ensure absolute compliance.

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