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Fuel scarcity: Motorists, commuters stranded in Abuja, other cities


Commuters in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, and other cities across the country have bemoaned the hike in transportation fares owing to the current fuel scarcity.

DAILY POST reports that queues have worsened in many filling stations across the country, with Abuja as one of the worst hit areas.

While some motorists were lucky to get fuel at some retail outlets for between N700 and N,1200 per litre after hours of squabbles, others were not so lucky as many retail outlets were shut, with their excuses being supply challenges.

Findings by DAILY POST revealed that the snake-like queues at a few filling stations in Abuja have worsened the traffic situation in the nation’s capital and its outskirts as the long queues spilt on major roads, hindering movements, just as thousands of people were stranded at bus stops with transport fares as high as double the former amounts.

Although many outlets owned by independent oil marketers remained shut, DAILY POST gathered that NNPC retail outlets sell petrol at N617 per litre.

Some motorists told DAILY POST that they had to painstakingly endure the unending queues and jostling for sometimes six hours.

DAILY POST gathered that the shortage of the premium product saw the black marketers selling the petrol for as high as N1,200 per litre in some areas of the FCT and its outskirts.

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

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.

He added, “The consequences of this fuel crisis are dire, with electricity supply remaining unreliable, prices soaring, and essential services paralyzed. 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.”

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s ‘The Morning Brief breakfast programme’ on Monday, monitored by DAILY POST, the National President of the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, Billy Gillis-Harry, blamed the fuel scarcity across the country on a supply challenge from NNPC Limited.

Mr Gillis-Harry, who explained that the supply challenge has not been resolved, however, acknowledged the efforts by NNPC Ltd to solve the problem.

He said NNPC has its own outlets that they also serve.

“So if they have some logistics issues, that will possibly be what is internal to NNPC. But as for us, PETROAN members, we can tell Nigerians for real that if we have petroleum products delivered to us, supplied to us upon payment for those same products, we will supply them to Nigerians.

“I would like to correct Nigerians that we, retail outlet owners or marketers as they generally call all of us, are not the reason for this. We do not have any reason not to serve the public and we are willing to serve the public.

“All that is required is for us to have petroleum products delivered to us from NNPC and we will make sure that our retail outlets are open, some of them are even open for 24 hours. The challenge of logistics is only relevant to the NNPC retail outlets,” he said.

Findings by DAILY POST indicate that as at Monday, transportation fare from Masaka, Ado, Mararaba, all in Nasarawa state, outskirts of Abuja that used to be 500 is now N800.

Also, from Jikwoyi, Karu and Nyanya now cost N800 as against N500 and N600 respectively.

Similarly, from Lugbe, Airport Road which was N400 is now N500-N600.

Speaking to DAILY POST, some commuters expressed their frustration, calling on the authorities to intervene without delay.

A commuter, Gabriel Olotu, expressed his grievances while waiting under the bridge in Mararaba for close to two hours trying to get a cab or bus to Wuse/Berger.

“I have been standing here for almost two hours trying to get a taxi to work but I have not been able to get any.

“I hate to resume office late so I wake up and prepare myself for work on time. Unfortunately today, I have been here since 7:30 am. It is almost 10 am already,” he lamented.

Another commuter, who simply gave her name as Agnes, said she paid higher than what she used to pay on transport fare.

She said, ”Already, the money I had with me cannot get me lunch at work, on getting to the road, the transportation fare is now doubled.

”This means the limited money I have will be affected again, which boils down to the fact that what we are going through is unbearable.”

On her part, Mrs Aisha Mohammed said she will have to trek from the junction where she will be dropped to her house because the money meant for motorbikes has been spent on plying the main road.

She begged that the situation be put under control soon because it won’t be easy for people to get to where they earn their living.

A driver, Sunday Adah, who had been waiting in one of the queues, described the situation as horrific and blamed the government for being insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.

“This government is wicked and always bent on making us suffer. I do not understand if they enjoy seeing us suffer.

“I have been in this queue for more than four hours and I have not been able to get fuel.

“I know how much I would have made already but for the time that I have spent here. I do not know what the problem is again.

“They said fuel subsidy, now they have removed fuel subsidy and made us buy the fuel at outrageous rates, yet we cannot even buy with ease,” he said.

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