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Fuel Scarcity: How black marketers turn Lagos bus stops into petrol stations

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Fuel Scarcity: How black marketers turn Lagos bus stops into petrol stations
As petrol scarcity worsens in Lagos, and its environment, Lagosians who have what it takes to get the product have turned all bus stops and filling stations entrances to market their scarce commodity in gallons, as commercial drivers and private car owners are forced to patronize them at black market prices.

In our fact findings, LagosBusinessNews gathered that areas like Agege, Ikeja, Iyana-Ipaja, and Egbeda, among many others, are now filled up with black marketers, selling in gallons at a rate between N2500 to N3000 for 5 litres.

There were indications, that the prolonged petrol shortage in Lagos, Ogun and the environs is worsened by illegal practices, especially immoral pricing and diversion, to unauthorised locations.

As the long queue still continues in filling stations, our correspondent gathered that some station is selling petrol at 270 to 300, respectively.

In fact, in some of the filling stations visited by our correspondent, we discovered that petrol attendance prefers to sell for people with 25litres gallon than cars and buses because of the charges they implied on them, which range from #500 to N1000 per 25litres, depending on the bargaining power of the buyer.

The question Nigerians are asking is what really caused the sudden scarcity of fuel in the country, however, checks have shown that independent oil marketers have complained about the high cost of lifting the product at depots, therefore, devised means of taking the product to wherever they can get higher returns, instead of filling stations.

The marketers had said that they have other options of selling it at even higher prices to companies, including transporters, which need the product to enhance their operations.”

Further checks, indicated that the outlets of many independent marketers were shut yesterday, while a few that opened in the morning sold at between N260 and N280 per litre, depending on location.

Many major marketers were, however, seen selling the product at about N280 per litre, leaving long queues which extended outside their gates as most motorists preferred to wait because of the huge price differential.

A transporter, who travelled from Lagos to Abuja, said there was petrol along the routes, but noted that prices continued to rise from one state to another till he got to Abuja.

A commercial driver, Wasiu, said he bought petrol at N300 per litre with a long queue in Lagos, but refuelled at N270 litre along the way before getting to Sango-Ota.

Mrs Adedayo who complained of no electricity in their area and that they have to live on the generator light said she bought fuel at N350 per litres in Alakuko Lagos.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited said yesterday that the reason for the long queues and fuel scarcity being experienced in Lagos, Abuja, and some other major cities is because of some road projects going on in Lagos.

The NNPC’s executive vice president, downstream, Adeyemi Adetunju, made this known while addressing a press conference on Tuesday, in Abuja.

Adetunju, however, noted that the gridlock is easing as the NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots, with massive load outs from depots to various states being closely monitored.

Adetunju, however, noted ’The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in some parts of Lagos depots. The gridlock is easing out and NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive load outs from depots to various states are closely being monitored.

“Abuja is impacted by the challenges recorded in Lagos. NNPC retail and key marketers have intensified dedicated loading into Abuja to restore normalcy as soon as possible.”

Normalcy soon: The NNPC top official assured Nigerians that efforts are ongoing to ensure that normalcy returns as soon as possible.

He said, “We want to reassure all Nigerians that NNPC has sufficient products, and we significantly increased product loading, including 24-hour operations in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure products sufficiency nationwide.’’

“We are also working with the NMDPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN, IPMAN, NARTO, PTD, and other industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned.”

Adetunju added that the NNPC has a “national petrol stock of over 2 billion litres. This is equivalent to over 30 days of sufficiency.

 

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