Lagos and Ogun states witnessed a serious turn out of desperate motorist and other users of petrol in many fuel stations on Saturday and Sunday following a brief relief from the serious scarcity that affected the country by December to the early week of January 2017.
On Sunday many fuel stations were closed down in both states and many stations dispensing sold above the regulated price of N145 per litre.
Filling stations sold at ridiculous amount between 160 and 180 especially in places like Ikotun, Ejigbo, Isolo, Idimu, Igando and Akute in Lagos, while motorcycle riders and other petrol users with purchased at a price of N200 from petrol attendants of other fuel stations that dispensed.
Black market operators were having a field day as they sold the product for as much as N250 per litre on Sunday.
On the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, outbound Lagos, the queues of motorists at some of the few stations that sold the product spilled onto the road, disrupting the flow of traffic.
The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Sunday, noted that the queues had been eliminated to a great extent before now.
He stated, “Definitely, if marketers have fuel, there won’t be queues. It simply means there is insufficient supply, and the NNPC still remains the supplier of last resort. So whatever they give to marketers, that is what marketers will dispense to the public.
“If you go to some DAPPMA stations now, you will see the tankers of major marketers dispensing there because the NNPC has not given us enough products for the last 10 days. Many of our people did not get products, and in order to keep their stations busy, they resorted to buying from MOMAN (Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria) members.”
Adewole said there was no way DAPPMA members could get enough supply from major marketers because they were supposed to be getting from the same source and not to buy from MOMAN.
The National Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said the Federal Government’s policy of supplying directly to independent marketers, which he described as a welcome development, had not taken off.
“When it takes off, IPMAN members will no more complain about buying at unofficial prices. This policy will enable IPMAN to identify our members who have good stations and can sell at the official price,” he stated.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, told our correspondent on Sunday that Lagos and its environs were being supplied with products mainly by MOMAN members, “because we have absolute confidence in their activities.”
“At the weekend, there was a technical hitch in ships berthing and discharging. But this has been rectified. So, today (Sunday) alone, 250 trucks have been pumped into Lagos compared with when we had the hitch and we supplied below 200 trucks. So, normalcy will return in a matter of hours in Lagos,” he said.
On the proposed direct supply to independent marketers, Ughamadu stated, “We are having an issue with independent marketers; they have three factions and each faction with a president; and if you were to be in the position of the NNPC, how do you solve this issue? You allocate to one faction, the other factions protest. We have told them to go and resolve their issue so that we can start allocating products to them directly.”
He said the NNPC was still supplying products to DAPPMA members.