Fuel Queues Persist as Petrol Prices Soar to N1,100/Litre in Abuja, Other Regions

Kwara Gov Cautions Oil Marketers Over Hoarding Of Fuel

On Monday, long queues for Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) continued in Abuja and neighboring states, spreading to Lagos and other regions across Nigeria. Marketers warned that the situation might persist until the weekend.

Motorists faced hours-long waits at the few filling stations that had petrol, while black marketers took advantage of the situation, hiking prices to between N1,000 and N1,100 per litre. Some retail outlets raised their pump prices to N900 per litre, particularly in Abuja, Nasarawa, and Niger.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) attributed the queues to a recent thunderstorm and logistics challenges disrupting fuel loading at jetties. The company assured that it was collaborating with stakeholders to resolve the issues and clear the queues.

Billy Gillis-Harry, President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, confirmed NNPC’s efforts but noted that the queues might not disappear immediately, especially in areas far from major depots.

“Loading takes days to clear queues. Stations in Abuja receive products from Lagos, Oghara, Warri, Port Harcourt, or Calabar, which takes more than three days to turnaround,” he explained.

Despite NNPC’s assurances, Gillis-Harry expressed skepticism about the thunderstorm’s impact, suggesting instead a supply glitch. He emphasized the need for government and NNPC collaboration with downstream operators to find a lasting solution.

A major dealer in the downstream oil sector, speaking anonymously, insisted that the problem was due to inadequate supply of PMS by NNPC. “If the product was available, there wouldn’t be queues,” the dealer said, noting that queues had spread to Lagos.

NNPC’s spokesperson, Olufemi Soneye, cited adverse weather conditions affecting ship-to-ship transfers and logistics, leading to supply disruptions. The company stressed the importance of adhering to safety regulations during thunderstorms and lightning.

NNPC is working to resolve the logistics challenges and restore the petrol supply to affected areas. Loading has begun in some regions, and the company hopes to see improvements in the coming days. NNPC also urged motorists to avoid panic buying and hoarding of petroleum products.

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