Apprehension as Fuel Scarcity Bites Harder in Lagos, Others

January 18, 2023
fuel scarcity Lagos

By Adedapo Adesanya

Continued fuel scarcity has exacerbated worries among Nigerians in the past few days in Lagos and other cities across the country, Business Post can confirm.

Across multiple filling stations monitored in Lagos from Alimosho, Agege, Ogba, and Ifako Ijaiye, some are closed while those opened are filled with stranded and customers with empty containers, with the pump price at about N260 per litre in one of the petrol stations visited on Wednesday morning.

This is not exclusive to Lagos alone, as this newspaper independently verified that this is the situation in some other states.

The situation can be traced to June last year amid speculations that oil marketers were planning to increase the price of premium motor spirit (PMS) to N185 per litre from N165 per litre.

Although the scarcity eased for a few months and resurfaced in October. Since then, it has not stopped. By estimation, the current fuel crisis has been on for three months at a stretch.

The petrol scarcity at one time was attributed to what is regarded as the biggest flood crisis in the country in a decade, which affected more than 30 states in the country.

Despite claims that there was sufficiency by the sole importer of petrol in Nigeria, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, the reality says something else.

During a recent interview with The Punch Newspaper, the National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr Ukadike Chinedu, said the issue will likely drag on till June.

He said, “This issue of subsidy and the importation of petroleum products are the major reasons why we are suffering like this and having an epileptic supply of PMS. This may drag on till the current administration leaves in May or June this year.

“The exchange rate is affecting fuel imports, which is also why the cost of petroleum products is high. We use too much naira to chase the few dollars that are available. So the solution is for us to refine our crude here and get our depots working.”

He also said this could be due to the coming elections, which are slated to commence on February 25.

“This is because suppliers will be very weary of selling petroleum products so that their debts will not be carried over to the next administration. Successive governments have suffered this epileptic distribution of petroleum products during the transition to a new government.

“The government is winding up, and if you are a supplier, you have to be careful in terms of supplying petroleum products. Remember that when Jonathan was there, marketers who were supplying products stopped and went on strike, demanding that they must be paid their arrears.”

Meanwhile, members of the Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) have described the lingering fuel scarcity in Nigeria as worrying.

They noted that while they support the removal of the fuel subsidy regime in June 2023, as contained in the 2023 Appropriation Act, the government should not spare any effort to complete the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of the nation’s four refineries before the June 2023 date.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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