Scarcity in the availability of the Premium Motor Spirit popularly referred to as fuel has hit Abuja as virtually all working fuel stations were jammed with long queues of desperate buyers on Friday, February 27, 2015.
Most of the fuel stations were not selling for reasons which they failed to uncover even though it was later learnt that the partial scarcity was because several marketers hoarded the product.
The long queues of desperate buyers at Total and Conoil petrol stations opposite the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was appalling.
However, a senior official at the NNPC stated that there was no cause for alarm as there was enough fuel to keep the country going.
A proactive measure had been initially taken by the Federal Government, to avoid fuel scarcity which entails agreeing to pay petroleum marketers a total of N264bn as subsidy arrears from 2014.
The settlement, it was learnt, will be between February and March and a payment timetable had been drawn for the purpose.
The Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, disclosed during a press brief that the actual subsidy arrears for the period under focus was N164bn, while N100bn was the interest accrued and the foreign exchange differential.
Olawore said, “The minister has given a schedule of payment, which is between now and March, and this has been agreed to by us. We expect that all parties will keep their own sides of the agreement.
“There was a drop in fuel supply in the country, but the good news is that we met with the Minister of Finance and we have been promised and assured that our money will be ready between now and the end of March.
“We have agreed with the payment schedule. We believe her; the fuel supply situation, which was low before, will pick up. If any tightness in the purchase of fuel was experienced before now, it was just temporal. Products will be made available and we are going to play our part.”
In a related development, fuel scarcity lingers in Lagos state as some petrol stations were either not dispensing or rocked with very appalling queues.
The Trent’s visit to one of the MRS outlets in the Isolo axis of the state on Friday, February 27, 2015 was greeted with extremely long queue with just one fuel pump attendant attending to desperate buyers.
About five other fuel stations in the area were either closed or not dispensing for possible lack of petrol to sell to buyers in the station.