- Fuel scarcity bites harder in Abuja and the situation is expected to linger for weeks even as NNPC has assured the situation will ease off soon
- NNPC has said it's hopeful Nigeria will be out of the hoods soon but said it's difficult to say how long the current situation will last
- Workers have continued to chase the few available taxis as car owners have parked their vehicles to seek alternative means of going to their offices
Despite the assurance by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) that it will be distributing one billion litres of clean Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), across filling stations in the country in order to end the current scarcity of the product, Nigerians may continue to face hardship for the next few weeks.
NNPC had in a statement on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, assured that this phase of scarcity would soon be over as it will be lifting about a billion litres of fuel and distributing nationwide.
It also promised that 2.3 billion litres of PMS would be imported into Nigeria before the end of February in order to tackle permanently the current shortage of the product.
The Group Executive Director, Downstream, Mr. Adetunji Adeyemi, confirmed the progress made by the corporation towards ending the current scarcity.
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Fuel scarcity bites harder in Abuja
Recently, Nigerians have lamented the hardships that come along with the current fuel scarcity, urging the federal government to take immediate action.
While motorists have continued to patronize black marketers who sell the products along the roadside for between N400 to N1000 per litres, the cost of transportation, food and other items have already gone up, and it is expected to remain so and even worse in a couple of days if the situation remains unchanged.
Legit.ng observed Wednesday morning a crowd of residents struggling to board taxis to their offices. While some workers in Abuja use their personal cars to their offices, the majority rely on public transport on a daily basis.
The rail system in the FCT is not friendly to workers even as the government has promised the take-off of the light rail as soon as possible.
Abuja is known for its peculiar transportation problem as Mr Godwin Ajegba of News engineering, Dawaki rightly puts:
“You can only imagine what we are going through right now. Car owners have now parked their vehicles due to lack of fuel. This has compounded the situation. Normally we have transportation problem in Abuja.
“Imagine what is now happening at the bus stop, as car owners have now joined other commuters at bus stop to struggle for the few available vehicles. It is terrible,” he said.
Majority of car owners in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have parked their vehicles and have resorted to the use of public transport, struggling with other commuters at bus stops.
A former Chairman of Pmagbe Landlords Association, in Ushafa, Abuja, Prince Sode Adedamola had in a WhatsApp post obtained by Legit.ng lamented the twin problem of fuel scarcity.
According to Prince Sode, the scarcity has further locked down the highway as major roads have become impassible around busy filling stations.
In what looks like an SOS message, Sode wrote:
“Dutse Tipper Garage totally blocked. Just think of alternative,” he said.
A filling station, AYM Shafa, is located along the Tipper Garage in Duste.
Another resident, Mr Emmanuel, while providing an update on situations along the highways, said he spent over 30 minutes along Dutse-Makaranta road.
“The hold-up is not easy at all. 30 minutes from Makaranta to Tipper Garage.”
Legit.ng has observed that usually in Abuja, car owners and taxis spend hours in traffics often caused by fuel scarcity. It’s either some vehicles that have run out of fuel are blocking the road or vehicles negotiating into filling stations dispensing the product are blocking other vehicles.
Abuja residents to face more hardship
But Alex Okon, a waiting commuter told Legit.ng that the situation may remain the same despite the assurance by the NNPC that it would ease off soon.
According to Alex:
"This is Nigeria. You don’t expect the situation to change or improve overnight. In fact, Nigerians capitalize on this type of situation to exploit others. Transportation has gone up, and we expect it to remain high for a while, even if fuel is made available across all filling stations.
“Even the fuel that NNPC says it’s now lifting; we should expect the situation to ease off in a matter of weeks and not days as expected by many.”
But Mr Michael Mukwuzi, a senior aide to the NNPC Group General Manager, Corporate Communications and Editor of NNPC publication said things will improve with time.
Mukwuzi told Legit.ng, that everything is in place to ensure the product get to the end users on time. He, however, said it will take a while, but they are hopeful Nigeria will get out of the hood.
When asked about how long it will take before the situation is permanently brought to end, he said:
“Nobody can actually approximate. Just to start the process, then you know. No need to do guess work,” he said.
Adulterated fuel causes scarcity
Legit.ng recalls that this phase of scarcity resulted from the importation of adulterated fuel into the country. The fuel contained Methanol and dangerous for use in Nigeria.
The product was shipped into Nigeria from Antwerp-Belgium.
The development has since generated controversy on why it was not detected upon arrival into the country until it was distributed to filling stations.