Two days to Christmas, fuel scarcity worsens across Nigeria

Rowdy NNPC mega filling station as fuel scarcity persist in Benin on Tuesday (19/12/17). 06915/ 19/12/2017/ Igbaugba Ehigimetor/JAU/BJO/NAN

Despite assurances by various government agencies and officials that the current fuel crisis will abate, the situation across the country portends a bleak Christmas, as the scarcity bites harder and thousands are forced to sleep in filling stations to purchase the product.

When the scarcity began, both the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, said normalcy was going to be restored in a matter of days.

When the crisis worsened, following the threat by the Independent Petroleum Products Marketers of Nigeria, IPMAN, to embark on a nationwide strike, Mr. Kachikwu, following the marching orders by the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, said the problem was going to end in a few days.

Subsequent assurances from the NNPC was that enough had been done, by increasing the number of trucks of petroleum products to major cities to take care of the scarcity.

But, days after those assurances, the situation in Lagos, Abuja and most other major cities across the country remain far from normal, as fuel remains in short supply, with attendant high prices.

The resultant impact has been rising transportation fares by almost 100 per cent, as Nigerians prepare for Christmas.

SOUTH-WEST

In Abule-egba, Lagos, many stations were closed, while the few that were opened sold petrol at between N200 and N250 per litre.

Along the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, most filling stations in places like Sango-Ijoko remain shut.

In other parts of Ogun State, majority of the petrol stations were shut and not dispensing products.

The few stations that sold petrol, including the Nigeria National Petroleum‎ Corporation, NNPC, depot were flooded by motorists with queues extending up to three kilometres.

Only a few cars were seen on the roads in Abeokuta, the state capital, while passengers were seen trekking to offices and back home.

The queues in Lagos filling stations have continued to grow, with most motorists abandoning their vehicles at home and commuting with public transport for lack of fuel.

Lagos residents lamented the impact of the fuel crisis on their lives, especially the rising cost of transportation.

A resident, Chinwe Isaac, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, explained how she waited for almost two hours at Obalende bus terminus before getting a bus to Ajah.

“On a normal day, Obalende to Ajah is just N250. But, the fare has now doubled N500. When you question the drivers, the response is that a litre of fuel is sold for N200.”

A corps member, who simply identified herself as Mariam said the scarcity was taking its toll on her.

“Marketers are making a kill from the crisis. Commuters are charged N1,000 from Ojota to Mile 2. I hope the federal government does something urgent about this, especially in this festive period,” Mariam said.

In Ekiti, Ondo and Osun, petrol was sold between N190 and N250 per litre in the filling stations that had the product.

It was gathered that some independent marketers sold as high as N250 in some parts of Ekiti between Thursday and Friday as the situation got worse.

“Some major marketers are selling at the normal rate of N145, but you cannot stand the queue,” a resident of Ado-Ekiti, Kamarudeen, told PREMIUM TIMES.

The situation is worse in Ondo State where “black market” became rampant in Oda and other outskirts of Akure.

Some black marketers sold for as high as N300 per litre in plastic containers.

At the few fuel stations where the product was sold, the queue and crowd became so unbearable that the fuel attendants resorted to issuing numbers to customers.

A PREMIUM TIMES reporter was number 223 on queue in one of the fuel stations selling a litre for N190.

In Osogbo, the Osun State capital, fuel stations selling at N200 per litre had shorter queues than those selling above the amount.

SOUTH-EAST

In the South-east, fuel prices have risen steadily throughout the week, leading to the increase in both intra and intercity transportation fares.

For instance, the fares from Enugu to Nsukka, which usually cost N500, now cost between N700 to N800.

Fuel price in Enugu initially increased to N190, before going up to an average of between N200 and N230. On Friday, a litre of the product was sold for between N250 to N260 per litre in most filling stations in the state.

The situation is similar in Anambra State, where a resident, Geofrey Ndubuisi, told our correspondent, fuel was being sold at around N210 and N250 in Onitsha, the commercial capital of the state.

Mr. Ndubuisi also said that in Awka, fuel was sold at over N250 per litre, where it was available.

“There is scarcity of the product and there are long queues in the few filling stations in the state with product,” he added.

However, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) compelled some marketers to sell the product at the government regulated price of N145 per litre.

The team, which came from Enugu Office, also sealed 12 filling stations, including an NNPC mega station for hoarding the product.

Some marketers, however, resisted the DPR team.


The situation is not different in Owerri, Imo State capital as well as Aba, the commercial centre of Abia State, where residents said fuel pump price increased to N250 and above per litre.

The impact is the same on transport fares by commercial transport operators.

In Ebonyi State, the retail pump price has risen to an average of N200 and N250 in many filling stations, while the price is as high as N270 and N300 per litre in the black markets.

Many filling stations did not open for business, while long queues built outside most other stations visited by our correspondent on Friday.

Prior to the latest scarcity and hike in fuel prices, tricycle operators were charging N30 per passenger for short distances. But, the fare has now been raised to N50, with long distance trips now attracting between N80 and N120 fare per passenger.

SOUTH-SOUTH

On Friday, many filling stations in Asaba, the Delta State capital still sold petrol at N145 per litre.

In Edo, the state government waded in to ensure marketers sell the product at N145 per litre.

A government team working with the DPR to monitor petrol stations in the state vowed to prosecute marketers found to be involved in diversion of products.

The Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, said the monitoring exercise is to ensure that products allocated to the state were dispensed to buyers at the official pump prices, to save the people the hardship being experienced by consumers in other states.

“Marketers are hereby warned to ensure judicious dispensing of allocated products, as government will not hesitate to apprehend and prosecute any erring marketer,” a government statement said.

However, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the fuel supply crisis worsened as almost all filling stations around the state capital and environs sold petrol at about N200 per litre.

Most filling stations belonging to major petroleum marketers were not selling fuel in the city as at Friday.

NORTHERN STATES TOO

In Kaduna, most petrol stations visited were not selling the product. That allowed a free reign to black marketers who sold for between N280 and N350 per litre.

Israel Bulus, a taxi driver who spoke to our reporter, said this is the worst scarcity he has experienced in Kaduna in the last five years.

“You cannot get fuel even at the black market prices. I can tell you with authority that not more than 10 filling stations are selling fuel in the state capital,” he said.

Umar Korau, a resident of Bauchi, told PREMIUM TIMES that the situation is unbearable as most filling stations were closed.

“In Bauchi there is no fuel at all. The few vehicles you see on the streets are those that got fuel from the few black market sellers at exorbitant prices.

He said a litre is sold for between N300 and N400 at the black market.

In Gusau, Zamfara State, authorities struggled to contain the activities of black market operators who sold petrol to residents at over N200 per litre. The few filling stations that sold the product had very long queues.

Ango Haruna, the Controller in charge of Gusau DPR field office, led the DPR surveillance team of the department to inspect some filling stations in the state.

He said some residents, including commercial motorcycles riders, connived with the black marketers to buy the commodity from filling stations and resell to desperate buyers.

“We observe that some members of the public involve in panic buying of the commodity. We noticed that filling stations owners were also conniving with such people, which is against the rule and regulations of the DPR.

“That is why many filling stations in Gusau metropolis today were filled up with the jerry cans which led to long queue in most of the filling stations in the state capital,” he said

Mr. Haruna said even though most of the filling stations in the state had now complied with the order by selling the product at government approved price of N145 Naira per litre ‘but the major problem we are facing is hawking and panic buying’.

“Since government had supplied enough commodity to the marketers we will not relent in our efforts to enforce compliance,” he explained.

APC, PDP REACT

Nigeria’s ruling APC on Friday reacted to the petrol scarcity, saying there was no basis for it.

“There’s no ‘actual scarcity'”, the APC said in a statement on Twitter Friday afternoon.

The party blamed marketers and panic buying amidst Yuletide holidays for the lingering scarcity.

In its reaction, the opposition PDP blamed President Muhammadu Buhari who is also the Minister of Petroleum for the scarcity.

“The unbearable fuel situation in the country is completely unacceptable. Mr. President must become up and doing. He should not allow anybody to push him to claim that the issue of fuel scarcity is not under the purview of the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

“When he took office as President of Nigeria and also as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, he was aware that the buck stops at his table,” the party said in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbodiyan.

In his reaction, Governor Ayodele Fayose asked President Buhari to resign. He said the scarcity was a deliberate ploy by the Buhari administration to hike fuel prices to as much as N200.

Mr. Fayose said since the scarcity is largely inexplicable, it’s only logical to conclude that federal authorities are behind it.


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  • De Gea Messi

    “A PREMIUM TIMES reporter was number 223 on queue in one of the fuel stations selling a litre for N190.”

    Hahaha! Number 223 at 190/litre! So imagine if it was at the official price of 145/litre? The premium times reporter would have been approx number 300!
    So, after selling chanji to Naijas, Premium times is also not insulated from APC debilitating change!
    Ahahahahahahaha!!!
    So PT reporters now report from fuel queues! E b like say same fate has befallen the APC BMC boys. I have every reason to believe Kay soyemi/Julius, tundeMESS/tunsj/usher/manenough, Maria, amazing2012, abdulmojeed, Rommel and co are fighting I n some rowdy fuel queues somewhere! No comments from them!
    BUT PLEASE, WHERE IS THE PETROLEUM MINISTER IN ALL OF THESE???
    Buhahahaha! I dey laff ooO!

    • Mosley

      They will soon tell us GEJ caused the fuel scarcity,

      • Celestine Madu

        @disqus_LcH5mBqDhx:disqus & Editor,

        Premium Times Editor, I just want to thank you for your good works. You are the people saving the masses from the thief-thief government of President Buhari that wants to kill the people of Nigeria. There will be
        more grease to your elbow in Premium Times for always telling the truth.

        What is there now is to remove Muhamadu Buhari as a useless president. We cannot take another
        two years of this nonsense BUHARI. He doesn’t know book, very dull and illiterate too.
        Look, I did not vote for Buhari O.

        My wife too did not vote for Buhari. We can never vote for illiterate president in my family. I am paying
        all my salary to private school to give my children good education. I cannot at the same time doing the opposite by voting for illiterate president. So, don’t say you will not publish me because you think I was
        one of the daft people who voted for Muhamadu Buhari. I can’t do such a thing over my dead body.

  • Faisal

    Lai(e), garba shehu and adeshina have suddenly gone QUIET??
    What a CLUELESS government!
    ALLAH YA ISA!!!!

    • De Gea Messi

      They will soon claim PDP men in buharis cabinet secretly reinstated diezani like Maina..that’s why the queues are back.

    • Yego V

      Satan is the Father of liars. Until I met Lai, I didn’t know satan himself had a father called Lai Mohammed. The most useless, heartless human being. This is the man who shamelessly boasted that fuel scarcity will end within a week. That was two weeks ago after FEC meeting. You would expect an Honourable and responsible Minister will apologize to the nation. He is hiding somewhere eating jollof rice: Made in Senegal. He said the same lie about Boko Haram. God will judge you, Buhari and his administration

  • Mani_Kay

    GOODLUCK JONATHAN FOREVER

    Throughout his time as President (5years plus) I never experienced fuel scarcity during Christmas, Easter and Salah breaks.

    Indeed change has taken place …. and Nigeria and Nigerians are the worse for it!

    • Okakuoofbenin

      Shut up my friend!!! Jonathan fucked up. He was Lilly-livered. Every reasonable person with eyes and brain can see that though Buhari is more incompetent than Jonathan, he will never allow a free and fair election. Unlike Jonathan who was pandering to the North, he has clearly shown that to him the North comes first and everybody else can kiss his Fulani ass

      • Mosley

        That is what your military adventurer in politics lied to you. He was rejected before and given a trial presidency. This time it will be total rejection in 2019.

    • Mosley

      Yes, welcome to OBJ-nomics. It was always like this during OBJ 8 years rule. Deziani who this govt is maligning stabilized fuel supply without any scarcity

  • ARISE Niger DELTA

    Dear Niger Deltans,
    ***Are you a Niger Deltan?
    ***Are you a youth employed or unemployed?
    ***Are you aware of the huge potential of your region? Of your states?
    ***Are you aware how rich you are and ought to be?
    ***Are you aware that you are being raped of your wealth and resources that belongs to you?
    ***Are you aware that this rape is systemic & a grand plan by the parasitic regions (North & West)?
    Do I really have to explain that to you? Don’t be willing f**ls my friends.
    1. Why is there no ACTIVE international port from the Benin river basins to Akpabuyo in Calabar?
    2. Why are there no EXPORT PROCESSING ZONES (EPZ) along the Littoral Niger Delta from Edo state to Calabar?
    3. Why did the same Senate members (from the North & West) who are considering artificial reconstruction of Lake Chad in Northern Nigeria reject and in fact voted against the creation of an EPZ in the Benin River basins in Edo state few months ago?

    We as a people (Niger Delta) must understand that there is no place for us in Nigeria…because as it stands, no matter how good, qualified, intelligent and experienced you are as a Niger Deltan you can never be elected as President of Nigeria except under special circumstances that paved way for President Jonathan. This is regardless of the shameless open display of hate, scorn and ridicule in those months immediately before and after the death of Musa Yar’Adua.

    SOLUTION
    1. Demand and fight to actualize a separate state and 100% control of resources
    2. Actively participate to stop the continuous and endless rape of our resources by Nigeria
    3. Fill the streets with protests and demand the Nigerian Army to end the occupation of N-Delta
    4. Our only preconditions to remaining in Nigeria would be:
    (a) Resource control and devolution of powers to the federating units
    (b) Rotational Presidency

    • Okakuoofbenin

      I support you bro.

  • Pollution in Niger DELTA

    Oil spills and pollution is killing the Niger Delta people. It is a pure case of environmental terrorism carried out by the Nigerian state with her European and American collaborators.

    Despite the billions of Dollars sold from oil the Niger Delta remains without federal presence. Not a single airport in the whole of Niger Delta has been built by Nigerian government at the center. Maritime University has been technically and deliberately forgotten. This systemic policy to make Niger Delta perpetually underdeveloped why monies from the region is used to provide infrastructure elsewhere in Abuja, Lagos etc must be resisted. Its got to stop.

    Secession from Nigeria is the only sure way to achieving absolute RESOURCE control or we stop the flow of oil money. Nigeria is irredeemable.

    We demand our sovereign state of Niger DELTA

  • Sumbo

    This crisis is intentional. It is designed by MUSLIMS. Can you Remember ever having fuel crisis around an Islamic Holiday? Now think. How many times now have we had crisis just around a Christian holiday? Don’t you guys see how these people work? It is a conspiracy from Kano and Sokoto. There is nothing kwachuku can do about it. If the truck drivers are 99% Muslims and have been told to slown pace and load and wait. These fcuking people are messing with us and there has got to be a limit. Just like we did not get enough days off for Christmas. It is time we really ought to think of going our separate ways. Enough of this rubbish. We have a bunch of uneducated, fanatics ruling and messing with us. Time to go!

    • Chukwuka Okoroafor

      But how can this be a Muslim designed crisis when it is hurting the Muslims? I think you are just trying to cause a religious war. I know there is a jihad being carried out by the Sokoto Caliphate, but your theory is just a conspiracy theory.

      • Otile

        You might as well try to convince him hat Boko Haram fighters are not Muslims since some of the victims of their suicide bombing are Muslims.

  • Intrepid

    B..badluck
    U…unrest
    H…hardship
    A…agitations
    R…recession
    I… inflation

  • The Optimist

    It is clear sabotage by the oil marketers; but nothing can take away the joy of Christmas.

    • Mosley

      Lied again.

    • Mani_Kay

      But the so called marketers were also there during the era of Jonathan and they never caused scarcity. Please stop lying …. the oil marketers have nothing to do with the scarcity. The Muslim controlled NNPC is responsible for the scarcity for reasons obviously known them ….. spoil Christmas for Christians period.

  • Orlando Lenses

    @disqus_3mRJNLtlFz:disqus

    APC party as a government of school cert failures, dunces and retards

    Bukola Saraki said EFCC caused an outrage by arresting the Chief Executive
    of Innoson Technical Manufacturing Company, Enugu, Chief Innocent
    Chukwuma of Innoson Motors. I have read the facts of the case – which surely
    Bukola Saraki did not read before opening his lousy mouth to utter ignorant nonsense –
    and because I have read the case file I will give kudos to the EFCC for a job well done
    and for maintaining the same standards as over here in the United States of America.

    As at today, according to the case file, Chief Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Motors.
    is owing GTB bank five (5) billion Naira and has not taken any step to pay the debt down,
    suggesting to the bank in consequence that he intends to deliberately default and make
    away with a whopping five billion Naira. The EFCC is therefore legally authorized to step
    into the breach in such an obvious case of ECONOMIC SABOTAGE.

    If all bank customers took five (5) billion Naira without intention to repay,
    the economy would collapse in 90 days. The case records against Chief Innocent
    Chukwuma of Innoson Motors further suggests something else more egregious.

    Chief Innocent Chukwuma is alleged by Police investigators to have FORGED
    shipping documents and cleared goods at the Nigerian Ports to defeat the
    original bill of lading that GB bank held as lien on the goods as guarantee
    of some sort.

    The goods were then allegedly sold and the proceeds pocketed by Chief Innocent Chukwuma
    and his co-conspirators without a kobo being paid to GTB bank to liquidate the five billion Naira loan
    that GTB bank granted Chief Innocent Chukwuma to import those goods. What can be more criminal
    than forgery an economic sabotage?

    • Okakuoofbenin

      Mumu the topic is fuel scarcity not Innoson.

    • Olatubosun

      You are crazy…. ..

      Is is Buhari that inflates the price of petrol….

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    Is Lai Mohammed ill ? Why has he not blamed Goodluck Jonathan ?

    • Julius

      Oh, like you are blaming the VP ?

  • Mosley

    Govt is rationing the fuel to reduce the cost of subsidy. If the govt say there is no subsidy then let the NNPC open the pipes for fuel to flow. After all, the more fuel pumped equals increased NNPC revenue.

  • Dr (Mrs.) Ojo

    @tawandaincommunicado:disqus

    Humanitarian appeal to the public on zero petrol in Nigeria

    Let us remember
    not to stone the sycophant Professor Tam David-West who impliedly asked in
    Punch newspaper on April 24, 2015 to be stoned if Muhamadu Buhari did not
    reduce the price of petrol to 45 Naira per litre in 2015 upon taking office.

    In consequence of that area-boys’ lies-telling Professor Tam David West may have
    lost all respect in the society like a dishonest or senseless human being who’s born
    a lies-telling palace guard of a primary six certificate president called Muhamadu
    Buhari.

    For within six (6) months of taking office Muhamadu Buhari instead
    increased price of petrol by 62% and Buhari hiked petrol pump price to 145
    Naira per litre. Today, there’s no petrol in Nigeria as the misgoverned country
    falls apart over Muhamadu Buhari’s complete ignorance.

    • Extaycee2000

      @tawandaincommunicado:disqus

      BUT GOODLUCK JONATHAN PEGGED THE PRICE AT 86 NAIRA PER LITRE UP TILL HE HANDED OVER.

      HOW COME BUHARI INCREASED PETROL PRICE FROM 86 NAIRA TO 145 – TO KILL WHO AND WHY?

      BY THE WAY WHERE ARE THE OJOTA RIOTERS OF “65 NAIRA OR NOTHING”, WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

      FEMI FALANA AND TUNDE BAKARE ARE THE TWO MOST USELESS CROOKS INSIDE NIGERIA TODAY.

  • Mentus

    ‘DPT who came from Enugu sealed 11 stations including the mega NNPC station” so the way to solve scarcity is to seal petrol stations. They never thought of staying to oversee the sales ensuring they sell at recommended prices instead exacerbating the problem by reducing access. What does this say about this government, there is indeed no real scarcity, it is created by This Islamic regime whose ploy is to frustrate Christians at this joyous time of the year.
    As already been said, Buhari and his team are doing their best to frustrate Christians. They would pull out all stops to ensure smooth running of everything if it was one of their Eds.

    • Chukwuka Okoroafor

      But there are fuel shortages in Zamfara and Bauchi. Those are mostly or just slight majority Muslim states.

  • Mani_Kay

    Muslim controlled and dominated NNPC unleashes vicious and devastating fuel scarcity on Christians to frustrate the celebration of Christmas.

  • Olatubosun

    We are the problem of ourselves……there is petrol o

  • Olatubosun

    Fuel is not scarce…….. But people make it worst by inflating the price of petrol….
    There is God o…
    Nigeria has been sanitised