Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Motorists groan as fuel queues resurface in Lagos

The development left commuters stranded with gridlocks in major areas of Lagos as motorists queued to buy the product.

• November 23, 2022
Fuel queue
Fuel queue

Long queues resurfaced in Lagos on Wednesday as motorists spent hours at filling stations to buy petrol.

The situation was worse on Ikorodu road, Maryland, Ikeja, Anthony, Bariga, Ilupeju and Gbagada areas as motorists were agitated for spending hours in queues.

The development left commuters stranded with gridlocks in major areas of Lagos as motorists queued to buy the product.

Only filling stations owned by the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) had petrol and sold at the regulated price of N170 per litre.

Some stations owned by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) sell between N200 and N210, respectively.

A motorist, who identified himself as Foluso Saliu, told reporters that he had been in the queue since 6:30 a.m. hoping to get fuel and return to work.

“Scarcity has been frequent during the ember months, and l hope it will be addressed,” he said.

Another motorist, Julius Albert, urged filling stations to avoid selling petrol in jerry cans to allow vehicles to buy on time.

Mr Albert appealed to the government to fully deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry if that was the solution to the availability of petrol without stress.

Queues were seen at Mobil, NNPC, Conoil, Oando and Nipco filling stations on Ikorodu road.

Also, queues were sighted at TotalEnergies, TMAAC on Bank Anthony road and Conoil, opposite LASUTH.

Reacting to the situation, the national operations controller, IPMAN, Mike Osatuyi, blamed the scarcity on private depots and the increasing difficulty in accessing petroleum products.

Mr Osatuyi said those selling had to go the extra mile to get the product to their filling stations.

He explained that at the moment, most IPMAN members could not source the commodity due to a supply shortage that had lingered.

“It is a sad development. Some of my members now pay as much as N200 per litre to buy petrol from the depot, including the cost of transportation and other charges incurred.

“So, in this situation, how much do you think we will sell petrol at the pump?” he asked.

According to him, one way to address this is through total deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil industry.

“But the cost implication of the policy will make the price of petrol too expensive for Nigerians, as deregulation will shift the burden from the government to users of the product,” Mr Osatuyi said.

He said subsidy payment was no longer sustainable and urged Nigerians to face reality now to avoid the unpalatable experiences usually associated with scarcity.

Farouk Ahmed, the chief executive officer of NMDPRA, declined calls and messages.

Ayo Cardoso, the controller, Lagos and Ogun States NMDPRA, also declined comment. 

(NAN)

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