Fuel queues returned to Nigerian cities weekend, with many motorists finding it difficult to buy petroleum products as many stations were either closed or operated partially.
The scarcity is coming amid reports of a likely price increase by marketers. The NNPC has denied the government is planning a hike.
In Abuja, many residents said they relied on the black market for petrol to power their cars and electricity generators.
In Kano, long queues resurfaced at filling stations as most filling stations were closed. Only a few filling stations sold petrol at the government approved price of N165 per litre, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
In Kano’s Tsanyawa, Bichi, Dawakin-Tofa and Gwarzo Local Governments, marketers sold petrol at N174 per litre, NAN reported.
A resident, Idris Abdullahi, said he had no option but to buy a four-litre gallon of fuel at N1,100, against the former price of between N700 and N800.
The news agency said the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Kano branch, had accused private deport owners of attempting to increase fuel prices in the country.
Bashir Danmallam, IPMAN branch Chairman, Kano state, said in a statement that the decision would cause fuel crises in the country.
He alleged that such private deport owners had already increased the price of the product from N148 to N153 and N155 per litre.
“The association found it necessary to alert the government in order not to blame our members in the event they increase the price of the commodity, as they will not sell at a loss,” he was quoted as saying.
“We are equally calling on the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to investigate the issue with a view to proffering solutions.”
NNPC speaks on scarcity
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said on Monday that there will be no increase in the price of petrol in the country, and advised against panic-buying.
The NNPC said this in a statement by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Garba Muhammad.
The NNPC said it was unaware of any government plans to raise the pump price of petroleum.
The statement says: “NNPC had over 1.7 billion litres of petrol in stock and more of the product is expected to arrive in the country daily over the coming weeks and months.
“It was therefore unnecessary to entertain any fear of scarcity of petrol throughout the festive season and beyond.
“The NNPC is also not aware of any plan by the government to cause an increase in the pump price of petroleum.
“The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), made that declaration last week.
“In view of these assurances, therefore, the NNPC is advising motorists and other consumers of petrol to maintain their regular pattern of the purchase of petrol without getting into a panic situation that may send the wrong signals around the country,” the statement said.
He added that NNPC is engaging all stakeholders to ensure smooth supply and distribution of products to every part of the country during the festive season and beyond.
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