Fuel queues have returned to Abuja as some independent oil marketers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) adjusted their pump prices. Despite the official cap of N617 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) set by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), a few independent petrol stations sold fuel above this price.
The scarcity led to long queues at the few stations that remained open in various parts of the FCT. In addition, black-market vendors were observed selling fuel in plastic containers while moving around the capital’s major highways.
According to the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), the resurgence of fuel queues is attributed to the high cost of Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) diesel and the non-availability of petrol in depots. IPMAN’s National Vice President, Mr. John Ocha, stated that many independent marketers refrained from selling petrol due to its limited availability.
One station, A.Y. Shafa, adjusted its pump price to N625 in response to the shortage. Ocha explained that the scarcity arose because few independent marketers and tank farm owners sell petrol. The rising cost of diesel, which has exceeded N1000 per litre, substantially contributes to the high landing cost of the product, making it financially challenging for marketers to maintain the cap pump price of N617.
Ocha further noted that the government has not taken action against the adjusted pump prices by independent marketers, likely because it cannot mitigate the diesel cost. He emphasized the difficulties marketers face transporting fuel from distant sources, as the high diesel prices result in significant expenses.
Marketers in areas like Lagos and its surroundings can still afford to sell at the cap pump price due to their proximity to depots. In contrast, those in distant places, including Abuja, incur higher transportation costs.
The NNPCL’s Head of Corporate Communication, Iyabo Ojo, assured that there is no supply issue, as the company maintains a 30-day sufficiency of PMS stock. Ojo attributed the return of fuel queues to the challenging road conditions affecting truck transportation for all marketers.
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