Fuel scarcity has struck several areas in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Lagos State, causing the temporary closure of some filling stations and a surge in pump prices. Marketers attribute this fuel shortage to various factors, including the forex crisis and challenges related to transportation caused by poor road conditions.
Many filling stations in these regions have been affected by the scarcity, resulting in long queues and a spike in fuel prices. Some stations that remained open have adjusted their pump prices to exceed N600 per liter.
On the Kubwa Expressway in Abuja, stations like Eterna Filling Station and Gegu Oil Station had ceased selling fuel, leaving customers disappointed. Aso Energy Resources Station in Kubwa Phase 2 experienced lengthy queues, with just one operational pump offering fuel at N630 per liter. In the central area of Abuja, Conoil, situated opposite the NNPC towers, sold petrol for N623 per liter. However, a few NNPC stations in Wuse Zone 6 and Garki Area 10 adhered to the official price of N617 per liter.
In Lagos, where fuel prices ranged from N568 to N585, some stations reported selling the product for as much as N650 per liter. Some stations, including those run by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), had to close due to the scarcity, resulting in long queues and price hikes at the few stations that were dispensing fuel. Independent filling stations in Lagos were selling petrol for over N600 per liter, while major stations exceeded N568.
The Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has identified the increase in the value of the dollar, deteriorating road conditions, and fuel hoarding as key factors contributing to the fuel scarcity. MOMAN’s Executive Secretary, Clement Isong, emphasized the challenges faced by tanker drivers and dealers within the sector, explaining that the lack of access to dollars from official channels compelled some to turn to the black market.
Isong stated, “The roads from the South to the North are in a terrible state, and truck owners have incurred huge financial losses as a result of accidents. The dollar has crossed the N1000 threshold, and members can’t get it from the official window. The unstable nature of the naira has continued to add more and more pressure on the business.”
Debo Ahmed, the leader of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN), attributed the scarcity to supply disruptions and pointed out that the NNPC is currently the sole importer of refined petroleum products. He expressed hope that the situation might improve when the Dangote Refinery begins production in December.
These challenges underscore the need for effective solutions to address the ongoing fuel scarcity and related issues in the Nigerian petroleum industry.