Nigerians were over the weekend thrown into a state of confusion as fuel scarcity hit Lagos, Abuja, and many other cities across the country.
PREMIUM TIMES’ reporters who monitored the situation observed that residents besieged fuel stations in Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos, in anticipation of yet another season of fuel scarcity.
The situation was not different in Abuja, the nation’s seat of power, as motorists were seen scrambling to fill their tanks, amid long queues formed across the city centre.
The anxiety over scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, is coming in the wake of assurance given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that there would be no increase in the pump price of petrol in February.
The corporation gave the same assurance on Sunday, saying there will be no increase in the ex-depot price of fuel in March. The NNPC said the state-owned firm has enough petrol to last the country for 40 days.
On Sunday, PREMIUM TIMES’ found that a number of petrol stations in Ojodu and Ikeja areas were under lock and key. At Ojodu-Berger area, the NNPC retail outlet was shut against motorists Sunday afternoon.
However, motorists besieged the few other petrol stations that were open for business around the area.
At Omole Estate Gate, a privately owned petrol station sold fuel for N162, but there was a long queue at the entrance of the petrol station when PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter visited the area.
A random survey of petrol stations within the Ojodu-Ikeja axis showed that the prices ranged between N162 and N165 Sunday afternoon.
“The price is not high but most of them are not even selling,” said Banji Kazeem, a commercial bus driver.
“In Agege, many of them have shut down and they claim they do not have fuel.”
Another motorist who identified himself simply as Chidi said he bought fuel for N170 in Yaba area of Lagos Sunday evening, adding that he would transfer the costs to passengers.