Fuel scarcity: FG begins 15-day emergency fuel supply

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As fuel scarcity continues to bite harder in different locations, the Federal Government says it has begun a 15-day emergency fuel supply to ensure the commodity circulates across the length and breadth of the country.

The government also disclosed that vessels importing Premium Motor Spirit would continue to berth at the shore to discharge petrol to different depots, from where the product would be distributed to different filling stations.

The Major Energies Marketers Association of Nigeria had in a statement on Tuesday said its members in Apapa and other locations in Lagos had been receiving 300 million litres of fuel from eight vessels this week.

This was after the South-West Regional Coordinator of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Ayo Cardoso, confirmed to one of our correspondents that aside from the 240 million litres offloaded at various depots on Monday, close to 85 million litres of petrol were offloaded as of Tuesday evening.

However, The PUNCH observed on Wednesday that the queues in filling stations were yet to subside, even as Nigerians celebrated May Day.

As of Wednesday afternoon, it was observed that roads in Ogun, Lagos and others were deserted as vehicles lined up in filling stations to buy fuel. Some individuals said they had parked their vehicles pending the availability of petrol.

Also, the few filling stations where the fuel was available sold at prices considered to be too exorbitant.

But in an interview with one of our correspondents, the NMPDRA’s Cardoso insisted that the product would soon be available across the nooks and crannies of the country, saying the government was doing its best to ensure massive distribution of PMS.

Cardoso disclosed that more vessels would keep arriving in Nigeria for two weeks, starting from last Monday. This, he said, would include continuous distribution of petrol to filling stations.

According to him, each state of the federation has its allocations, saying the same will be delivered to reduce the queues at filling stations.

“As I said earlier, there would be enough fuel across Nigeria soon. We have received over 300 million litres as of Tuesday. More have arrived as we speak, but I can’t give you the figure. Vessels will keep arriving in Nigeria for 15 days, which started counting on Monday, and we will keep distributing the product across the nation.

“The masses should not panic; all these will soon vanish. We are not prioritising anywhere, each state has its allocation to be delivered accordingly,” Cardoso stated.

Meanwhile, many residents of Ogun State on Wednesday resorted to trekking from one place to the other as fuel scarcity continued to take its toll on Nigerians.

This was because transport fares skyrocketed following the lingering fuel crisis.

One of our correspondents reports that as more filling stations closed shops and commercial drivers were unable to access petrol, some residents resorted to trekking while many stayed at home.

 

PUNCH reports how students of both tertiary institutions and preliminary schools have shunned their classrooms over the hike in the price of buses due to the non-availability of fuel.

One of our correspondents who went around Abeokuta on Wednesday observed more or less deserted roads with scanty vehicles.

Residents going to distant locations were sighted standing at different bus stops with no vehicles available to convey them.

One of the travellers, Mrs Adeyemi Oni, who spoke with one of our correspondents expressed frustration over the situation, appealing to the government at all levels to respond to the matter swiftly.

“Many things are happening as a result of this fuel scarcity. The poor are now poorer and hungrier because they can’t even get to where they work due to high transport fares and lack of vehicles on the road. I can only appeal to the government to do something urgently,” he said.

A motorist, Kazeem Aderemi, told one of our correspondents that he had been queuing at the NNPC filling station on the MKO Abiola Way for hours.

The PUNCH observed out of the numerous stations along Ikotun-Igando Road, only one dispensed PMS as of the time of filing this report on Wednesday.

An outlet belonging to God’s Decision located on Governor’s Road in Ikotun Area of Lagos State sold the product at N999/litre.

Other outlets like the NNPCL, Mobile, and NIPCO among others did not dispense fuel, but motorists refused to leave the queues.

The PUNCH observed a long queue at the Total filling station located beside Isolo General Hospital, where fuel was sold for N580/litre, while Jezco filling station along Chemist Bus Stop sold for N660/litre.

The TechnOil located at Ire-Akari junction was dispensing fuel at N560/litre on Wednesday where our correspondent visited, but there was a long queue of motorists.

Also, the black marketers roaming at the NNPC junction were selling PMS between N1,000 and N1,200/litre.

The Mobil filling station located along Palm Avenue towards Mushin sold at N565/litre, while the black marketers towards the NAHCO Bus Stop were selling between N1,000 and N1,500/litre on the highway.

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