There was panic buying of petrol in many fuel stations in Lagos and other parts of the country on Friday.
The new development comes against the background of the uncertainties caused by the announcement of new price guide by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Thursday night.
The increase announced by the PPPRA late Thursday sparked outrage across the country Friday morning, as many Nigerians lamented the harsh economic conditions they have had to face in recent years.
The new announcement contradicts an earlier assurance by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation that the old price of petrol would be maintained.
The federal government, through the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has reversed the hike, saying there was no approval for it.
In a survey Friday morning, PREMIUM TIMES observed that a few filling stations in Lagos were shut against intending buyers.
Car users and motorists besieged others that were open for business.
This reporter observed that many filling stations sold to buyers at prices in the range of N162 and N170 in Ojodu and Ogba areas.
At the NNPC retail outlet in Akute area of Ogun State, a resident confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that petrol sold at N162 but there was a mammoth crowd Friday morning.
“The price is still N162 but the crowd was huge,” the resident said.
“The same is the situation at Mobil station along Alagbole Akute road.”
In Abuja, a cab driver confirmed that there was panic buying although the price remained within the N160 – N170 band.
In Kubwa area of the city, there was panic buying also as motorists clogged filling stations.
In Ibadan, Oyo State, motorists were thrown into confusion as buyers besieged fuel stations to buy petrol in expectation of a hike in price.
“The price remains unchanged at N162 in many fuel stations around Bodija and Eleyele, but there is panic buying,” Bayo, a resident, told PREMIUM TIMES.
In parts of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, fuel stations sold at prices in the range of N163 and N165.
As many Nigerian continued to lament the effect of the new price announcement, the government has called for calm.
Mr Sylva, on Friday, disowned the increase in the price of petrol as announced earlier by the Petroleum Products Pricing Agency, PPPRA.
Mr Sylva said neither he nor President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the decision to increase the retail price to N212 per litre.
The NNPC insisted its position had not changed and the PPPRA later deleted the post from its website.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES Friday, Mr Sylva said the government could not have lied and called the PPPRA announcement “completely untrue”.
He apologised for “distress and inconvenience, the unfortunate information might have caused.”
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