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Nigerians groan as fuel scarcity bites hard in Lagos, Jos ,other states

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.Adeleke, NMDPRA, warn against hoarding

 .NANS threatens mass action over scarcity

.As  task force raids filling stations in Kwara

.Pump price per litre hits N800

 

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Daniel Dauda, Jos. Tunde Adeleke, Osogbo

 

Queues dotted petrol stations in many parts of Lagos on Monday as motorists battled to fuel their vehicles amidst scarcity of the product.

 

Commuters heading to various destinations were caught in the web, with fewer buses on the roads and some hiking fares.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent observed some students and  their parents  trekking early in the day after being unable to get buses on time.

 

A businessman, Mr Kingsley Udeh, told NAN that he had to resort to trekking a long distance to get to his shop.

 

“It is really frustrating this morning. As I got to my bus stop, I was surprised at the number of people I saw.

 

“It was also obvious that there were no buses because of the number of people I saw waiting.

 

“I waited for some time but resorted to trekking when I saw others moving forward. This fuel situation should be addressed, as the hardship is much,” he said.

 

A trader, Mrs Shade Agboola, said that leaving her house in the morning to take her children to school and make her way to Lagos Island was hectic.

 

“When I got to Gate this morning, the crowd I saw was alarming. After taking my children to school, I had to trek to Pako to board a bus going to Cele.

 

“The usual N200 fare we board from Pako to Cele now turned to N300.

 

“Also, I paid additional N100 to the N200 I normally pay to go to Aguda en route Lagos Island.

 

“Government should really help with this fuel situation,” she said

 

Mrs Maureen Uzochukwu, on her part, urged government to address the fuel situation in the country to reduce the pains and suffering of citizens.

 

According to Uzochukwu, people are paying too much in the country.

 

“There is food inflation, everything is high and people are becoming sick due to the situation in the country,” she said.

 

Mr Francis Obiechina, a resident, told NAN that he paid N800 to transport himself from Oshodi to Costain just to get to work.

 

“Ordinarily, I used to pay N600, now I paid additional N200. This means no lunch for me because I have spent more than my budget for today.

 

“Not only about the money paid, I had to also had to trek within my axis in Oshodi to cut cost, this in not healthy for us at all, ” he said.

 

The fuel queues have persisted despite the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) assurance that the logistics problem that caused the problem had been resolved.

 

Recall that Mr Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPC Ltd, said on Thursday that the tightness in the supply of Premium Motor Spirit being experienced in some areas across the country was as a result of logistics issues.

 

He said that the problem had been resolved.

 

Soneye reiterated that the prices of petroleum products was not changing. urging Nigerians to avoid panic buying.

 

He said that there was a sufficiency of products in the country.

 

NAN reports that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), had, however, said that the petrol situation could take at least two weeks to normalize

 

Also, The scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petroleum product lingers in Jos, causing motorists endless struggles to access the product .

 

Daily Champion which monitored the situation within Jos city center observed that, most of the stations were under lock and key.

 

A visit to Nigeria National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) Limited,Mega Station in Dogon-Karfe, Jos, showed that remarkable pressure was on car owners who queued for hours to get fuel.

 

This is because most independent fuel stations were not dispensing PMS, with few black marketers selling the product at N800 to N900 per litre.

 

It was also gathered that roadside fuel hawkers sold at N1000 and N1200, per litre, as traffic reduced on the road.

 

A fuel attendant at NNPC Mega station told Daily Champion, that, they are selling the product at N617 per litre, adding that, they got only one truck yesterday night, making the pressure to be on them, following the acute scarcity.

 

Some car owners lamented how they slept on the queue with some spending hours in the scorching sun in anticipation of getting fuel for their daily movements.

 

They called on Federal Government of Nigeria to intervene and make the commodity available to cushion the effects of suffering people were experiencing.

 

 

Meanwhile, The Osun State Government task force on petroleum price monitoring has warned  marketers in the State against price inflation and product hoarding.

 

In a statement by its Chairman, who is also the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Kazeem Akinleye, the task force disclosed that its surveillance across the state revealed that most filling stations are hoarding petrol products, thereby worsening the fuel supply situation in the state.

 

“The surveillance activities were conducted in major towns and the state capital in the last three days and that it revealed  deliberate hoarding of fuel to create artificial scarcity.

 

“The Taskforce consequently issues strong warning to affected filling stations which are already listed as direct culprits to open up their tanks and dispense fuel to the members of the public.

 

“We, therefore, tasked marketers to be public spirited in their pricing of Petroleum products, reminding them of the already harsh economic situation on the members of the public.

 

“Failure to stop the fuel hoarding and take Humanitarian notice of prevailing economic situation in the country will lead to severe sanctions.”

 

In the same vein, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Osun also warned petroleum marketers in the state against hoarding of the product, stressing that residents of the state shouldn’t panic buy, hoard or store petroleum products at home.

 

In a statement the state coordinator of the agency, Adekunle Adeyemo, in Osogbo  on Monday, said that the surveillance team of the agency would be all out to ensure that no filling stations hoard the product.

 

He said that any marketers caught hoarding the fuel or engage in any form of sharp practices would be dealt with according to the dictate of the law.

 

Adeyemo promised that the agency would   intensify its monitoring and surveillance of outlets in line with its regulatory mandate to ensure compliance with quality, quantity and safety of operations.

 

According to him, while government is doing everything possible to ensure adequate availability of the product,  it will be inhuman for independent marketers who have the product in stock to be hoarding it.

 

” We want to appeal to independent marketers who have petroleum products in stock to stop hoarding.It will be inhuman for those who have the product to be hoarding and inflating the pump price.

 

” The surveillance team of the agency is already out to ensure that those who have the product dispense it to motorists at reasonable price.

 

” However, any filling station caught hoarding the product with the view of inflicting pains on  the masses will not be spared.

 

” Yes, there might be a little challenge in the supply process, but relevant government agencies are doing everything possible to ensure that the situation is normalise.

 

“We will not fold our hands while some few individuals will inflicting undue pain on the residents of the state by hoarding the products”, he said .

 

Adeyemo appealed to petroleum marketers to always adhere strictly to standard safety practices in their filling stations, warning that any marketer that violates the standard procedure would be dealt with according to the law.

 

Adeyemo also appealed to consumers to report sharp practices, such as under-dispensing, to the agency for appropriate action.

 

The NMDPRA boss also warned against storing petroleum products at home , adding that such can cause a fire outbreak.

 

He said people needed to be very careful with how they handle petroleum products.

 

” The department is pleading with people to shun panic buying and storage of petroleum products in their houses.

 

“ Storing of petroleum product at home can result in a fire outbreak, which can lead to the destruction of lives and property.

 

“We have to be wise, there’s no reason for panic buying or hoarding of the product because government is doing everything possible towards adequate supply of the product”, he said.

 

 .NANS threatens mass action over scarcity

 

Meanwhile, The National Association of Nigerian Students has threatened to embark on mass action if the Federal Government fails to take immediate steps to address the current fuel scarcity in the country.

 

The students’ body also asked the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mr Mele Kyari, to take decisive actions to resolve the fuel crisis.

 

The association’s Senate President, Babatunde Akinteye, in a statement on Monday, lamented that the fuel scarcity has left many citizens, including students, frustrated and helpless.

 

Nigerians in Lagos and other parts of the country are currently struggling to get Premium Motor Spirit as many filling stations remained under lock and key throughout the weekend.

 

Our correspondents gathered that some filling stations sell the product between N700 and N800, giving black marketers another opportunity to extort Nigerians desperate to buy a litre at N1,000 or more.

 

The scarcity has led to a hike in transport fares.

 

Reacting, the NANS senate president lamented that students are now facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the increase in petrol pump prices and the scarcity of the product.

 

While demanding immediate action from the NNPCL to resolve the fuel crisis and restore stability, Babatunde said the students would hit the streets in protest if the situation persisted.

 

He added, “The consequences of this fuel crisis are dire, with electricity supply remaining unreliable, prices soaring, and essential services paralysed. Nigerian students, along with the rest of the population, are bearing the brunt of this crisis daily.

 

“We demand immediate actions from the NNPCL to resolve the fuel crisis and restore stability to our nation.

 

“This includes transparency and accountability in providing information about the state of fuel supply and distribution.”

 

The NANS leader stated that the NNPCL must improve infrastructure and logistics to ensure the efficient distribution of fuel across the country, saying bottlenecks and inefficiencies in the supply chain must be addressed promptly.

 

“Additionally, the NNPCL should engage with stakeholders, including student representatives, to understand the impact of the fuel crisis and collaborate on solutions.

 

.As  task force raids filling stations in Kwara

.Pump price per litre hits N800

 

The Kwara State Government Task Force on Monday, raided some filling stations within the Ilorin metropolis, cautioning attendants against hoarding of fuel which the government says imposes needless hardship on the masses.

 

A statement signed by Mashood Agboola, Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Government House in Ilorin on Monday, said the raid was part of the government’s measures to address fuel scarcity in the state.

 

“This is a committee set up by His Excellency AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq to see to the problem of fuel shortage. As a responsible and responsive government, we cannot be folding our hands watching. We have to see that the majority of our people enjoy the dividends of democracy,” the leader of the task force and Chief of Staff Government House Prince Mahe Abdulkadir told reporters during during the exercise.

 

“We observed that the major marketers are doing their best so far because we checked their pits.”

 

Abdulkadir called on the people of the state to be patient and avoid panic-buying

 

“We want to call on the people of the state to be patient and avoid panic buying, saying the federal government is not trying to increase the prices of fuel. We will make sure our people are not shortchanged,” he added.

 

Filling Stations inspected include Total Energies at Post Office Area; Rainoil Filling Station Asa Dam; NNPC Gerin Alimi; Total Energies Surulere; NNPC Surulere; and MRS Filling Station Oja-Oba, all in Ilorin metropolis.

 

The Chief of Staff called on the management of fuel stations dispensing fuel across the state to properly organise their customers to ensure orderliness.

 

At Rainoil Filling Station Asa Dam, NNPC Gerin Alimi, and NNPC Surulere, the team confirmed that there was enough fuel in their pits and encouraged them to continue to sell in an orderly manner.

 

Some of the managers, however, promised to avoid hoarding in the interest of the state.

 

In their reactions, some of the motorists in queue appealed to the government to continue to monitor sales of fuel to check hoarding and reduce hardship occasioned by fuel scarcity in the state.

 

Other members of the team were Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security Muyideen Aliyu, Permanent Secretary General Services in the Office of the Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Abdulrahman Babatunde; Director of Commerce in the Ministry of Business Innovation and Technology Mr Taiwo Adebisi and security agents.

 

Some parts of Nigeria are currently facing difficulties in obtaining PMS as many filling stations have remained closed over the weekend.

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