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Petrol shortages in Lagos and Abuja is due to logistics glitches, says NNPC

Long queues for petrol exacerbate frustrations as NNPC addresses supply challenges

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In Abuja and neighboring states of Nasarawa and Niger, the quest for petrol, or Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), took a turn for the worse on Thursday, amplifying the woes of motorists and commuters. The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited pointed fingers at logistical hurdles for the crisis but hastened to assure the public that the issue had been resolved.

Despite the reassurances, petrol remained a scarce commodity in the Federal Capital Territory and select northern states, with numerous filling stations forced to cease operations. Those few still open faced the daunting challenge of managing heavy queues of anxious consumers. While NNPC retail outlets held steady at the approved price of N617 per liter, independent marketers raised prices to an average of N700 per liter.

The root of the crisis lay in the poor supply of PMS to Abuja via the Suleja Depot in Niger State, according to oil marketers. They lamented the dwindling presence of fuel trucks at Suleja Depot and other depots in the North, exacerbating the shortage.

Wednesday’s report by National Newspapers detailed widespread closures of filling stations in Abuja and five other states, leaving thousands of commuters stranded. Transporters, grappling with the scarcity of petrol essential for their vehicles, responded by hiking transport fares, further burdening residents.

Mohammed Shuaibu, Secretary of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja Branch, underscored the persistent low supply of PMS in the capital and surrounding areas. He cited a combination of factors, including reduced imports by NNPC and diminished supply from depots in Warri and Lagos, as contributing to the crisis.

While NNPC retail outlets maintained consistent pricing, other marketers resorted to arbitrary pricing, with some charging as high as N700 per liter. Shuaibu warned of further price increases if the situation persisted.

Calling for government intervention, Shuaibu emphasized the need for increased petrol supply through NNPC channels to alleviate panic among motorists. In response, Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPC, acknowledged the challenges stemming from logistics but assured the public that the issues had been resolved.

Soneye reiterated NNPC’s commitment to stable pricing and urged Nigerians to refrain from panic buying, assuring them of sufficient petrol products in the country. Despite these assurances, the crisis underscores broader systemic challenges within Nigeria’s fuel distribution network, raising concerns about the resilience of the nation’s energy infrastructure and the need for systemic reforms to prevent future disruptions.

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