FCT Fuel scarcity: Why the queues have returned

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On Monday, 19th of April, 2021, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari assured Nigerians that there would be no increase in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as Petrol in May. Kyari also added that Petroleum Tanker Drivers had suspended their proposed strike after the intervention of NNPC in the impasse between the PTD and the National Association of Road Transport Owners.

“We have given our commitment to both NARTO and PTD that we will resolve the underlining issue between them and come back to the table within a week so that we’ll have a total closure of the dispute,” he said.

However, in the Federal Capital Territory, it was a different story, because the intervention of the NNPC on the proposed strike may have come a little late. Starting on Monday evening, there were reports of long queues in the city, which continued even up to Tuesday afternoon, leading to major traffic in some parts of the city.

At around 2 pm on Tuesday, a trip to fuel stations in the Karu-Jikwoyi area and some other parts of the FCT revealed queues of varying lengths. Fuel stations in the city centres had noticeably long queues as consumers struggled to fill up vehicle tanks and kegs.

A driver, Agbor, spoke to Nairametrics on his ordeal in trying to get petrol.

“I heard the queue was not as bad here as it was in town, so I rushed down to this queue at O-Max but the attendants said they don’t have much fuel for now, and are rationing how much they sell. I had no choice but to buy 10 litres of black market fuel at N4,000.”

At some stations including NNPC filling stations, long queues extended into nearby streets and although vehicular movements were being controlled to provide some semblance of order, the gates were shut in many to prevent mayhem.

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The severity of the situation was also quite pronounced at Asokoro. There were long queues at the MRS filling station at AYA junction and A. A Rano station among others. The entry and exit gates were completely shut in many instances with teeming consumers struggling to gain entry. A petrol attendant who asked not to be named told Nairametrics that the situation is temporary and blamed the proposed strike for the inconvenience.

The scarcity situation was not different in Area 11, Garki. The main Total filling station was blocked on all sides and petrol was not being sold from the pumps at press time. The queues had also extended from the station to NNPC HQ. At Conoil, the situation was not much different and as of 2 pm yesterday, fuel was not being sold at the station.

In response to the situation, the federal government, on Tuesday afternoon, gave an update on fixing the fuel scarcity situation as NNPC GMD, Mr Mele Kyari told reporters that fuel loading had commenced in all depots and tankers would soon arrive at various parts of the city to end the scarcity situation.

“These queues will go away. It’s because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners, around their compensation package.

And those issues were not resolved up till yesterday, until we intervened to ensure that there’s an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.

As I speak to you at this moment, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatches of trucks are ongoing in all the depots in the country and they have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us intervene and find a solution.” he said.

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