NAN – Though the supply of petroleum products across the country has greatly improved after weeks of scarcity encountered by Nigerians, but most filling stations are still selling above the official price of N86.50 per litre.
Investigations revealed that majority of the independent marketers and some major marketers nationwide were selling at N120 and N150 per litre.
Some of the marketers attributed the difference in prices to their inability to source the product directly from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) in Kwara, Alhaji Olanrewaju Okanlawon, disclosed that his members had to sell the product above the official pump price because they could not get supply from NNPC depot.
“We are not going to stay permanently on N130 per litre, the price will be determined on what we meet on ground at market but for now a litre is N130.
In his own submission, the Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) Enugu zone, Ikechukwu Nwankwo said they could not sell at the approved price until all the filling stations ”are sufficiently wet.”
He confirmed that supply had improved and price had dropped but said the decrease in price notwithstanding, marketers could not sell at the approved price until at the filling stations.
Some private marketers in Jos, Plateau State, said that they were compelled to sell beyond the approved price because of the difficulty in sourcing the product.
“Some people get their supplies from Lagos, others get from Suleija, so the cost of transportation and logistics cannot be the same,” Ajims Peter, Manager, Pema filling station in Bukuru stated.
Some independent marketers in Lagos also attributed the price differentials to short supply of the product from the NNPC.
Though normalcy is gradually returning as queues have eased at the fillings stations in the metropolis but long queues are still found in Agege, Igando, Agbado, Ojo, among others.
Investigation revealed that there were few motorists on queue at most of the stations.
The filling stations on Apapa Road, which consist of Mobil, Forte Oil, Conoil and Oando, dispensed petrol at the official price of N86.50.
The situation was the same in stations on Ikorodo Road axis, where most of the motorists did not spend up to four minutes on queue to get the product.
There were, however, queues at Mobil and Oando filling stations at Berger area of the metropolis.
At Fadeyi, Mrs Juliet Adebola, a civil servant, was marvelled to get the product under few minutes.
She commended the government and urged NNPC to ensure that other filling stations along Iyana-Ipaja, Abuje-Egba and Okota axis followed suit.
“I came from Iyana-Ipaja to buy petrol here because my office is not far from here.
“Most of the filling stations around the place still sell petrol between N120 and N150 per litre,’’ she said.
At Orile, Conoil and Total filling stations were dispensing petrol with few motorists on queue.
Mr Tunde Akinfenwa, a resident of Lagos Island urged NNPC to collaborate with oil marketers to ensure that the scarcity was halted.
Commenting on the development, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), urged NNPC to sustain the current tempo of distribution of petrol to eliminate scarcity in the country.
He said that improved loading of petrol in different depots in Lagos had eased scarcity of petrol in Lagos and Abuja.
Korodo appealed to NNPC to extend the loading to other states of the federation because most marketers went to Lagos to buy petrol.
“It is now easy for motorists to enter filling stations and get petrol without spending extra time or money.
“We should give kudos to our Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachukwu, because he is a man of his words.
“We urge the minister to maintain the tempo of the loading so that other states will benefit from the supply. Presently, the situation has improved only in Lagos and Abuja,” he said.
In spite of this development, filling stations in some areas of Lagos had continued to record long queues.
In Sokoto, the situation is gradually returning to normal although motorists complained that only NNPC stations in the metropolis are selling at the official price.
Some cross section of motorists in Sokoto metropolis commended the efforts of the Federal Government for an improved supply of petroleum products in the state.
Alhaji Sani Abubakar, a motorist, said none of the independent marketers was selling the product.
“Motorists only patronise NNPC Mega stations because of the availability of the products there,” he added.
Malam Usman Abdullahi, a commercial bus driver at Sokoto Central Motor Park said that the situation had greatly improved although many stations were still selling at N120 a litre.
He called for the setting up of mobile courts to prosecute any petroleum marketer found selling the products above government rates.
Similarly, motorists in Kano expressed happiness over the improvement in fuel supply at filling stations in the state.
Some of the motorists said although there were still long queues at some of filling stations, they were optimistic that the queues would soon disappear.
One of the motorists, Malam Hadi Yahya, at Total filling station along Zoo Road said that he was happy with the improvement in the supply of the commodity within the last one week.
“I am happy with the situation as the improvement in the supply of the commodity has forced most of the black marketers to reduce their prices,” he said.
Following the improvement in the supply of the commodity, the price of the product had dropped from N700 for a four-litre gallon in the past few weeks to between N500 and N550.
Similarly, motorists in Benin, Edo, have expressed satisfaction over improvement in supply of the product across the state.
Major marketers like Mobil along Mission Road, Total on Akpakpava Road and others were seen dispensing products to motorists at N86.50 a litre.
However, many independent marketers, which have product, sell at between N120 and N130 per litre.
A motorist, Mr Jethro Ibileke, said that the situation had greatly improved, adding that many major marketers had the product to dispense.
“I am happy that the situation has greatly improved. We no longer stay on queue for as long as we used to do before,’’ he told NAN.
The manager of Total station along Akpakpava, Mr Edward Ighobadia, also confirmed that the situation had improved.
Ighobadia attributed the feat to the increase in the number of trucks being allocated to the state.
“We now have products to sell more often than before; we hope the situation will continue like this and get better,” Ighobadia said.
In Ilorin, many Independent Marketers of Petroleum Products in Ilorin are selling at N130 per litre which forced commercial vehicle owners to also increase their fare.
The sale of PMS brought a relief to motorists especially the commercial vehicle operators who have been facing acute fuel scarcity for a long time now.
However queue still persist in many filling stations in Ilorin with some stretching up to one kilometre.
There are also reports of improvement in the supply of the product in Ibadan, Oyo State, although a litre is going for N120 in some filling stations.
Some marketers such as Bovas, Total, Mobil, Oando, Forte, Foe are selling at the N86.50 official pump price, while Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) sells at N86.00.
In the metropolis, queues could still be seen at some filling stations on the ring-road because most of them were selling at the official price.
Mr Sikiru Ajani, a Commercial Driver told NAN that the situation has improved but called for serious overhauling in the industry to forestall future occurrences of the bad situation.
Similarly motorist in Enugu have expressed satisfaction with improved availability and sale of fuel in the state.
A civil servant, Mrs Lilian Ilouno, disclosed that independent marketers sold the product at between N100 and N120 per litre as against N200 and N220 sold penultimate week.
Also a commercial bus driver, Christian Ugwu said some major marketers now sold the product at official price of N86.50 per litre unlike in the past few months.
According to him, it takes about an hour on the queue to buy the product as against the 24 hours he was spending at the height of the crisis.
Investigations also revealed improved supply to filling stations selling the product in Awka although motorist still buy at between N130 and N150 per litre.
Mr Nnamdi Ndulue, a motorist, said he now spent less time and money to procure petrol at the filling stations.
The fuel situation has also improved in Jos and other areas of Plateau following an increase in the supply of the commodity.
At the NNPC mega station in Central Jos, the commodity was being dispensed at the government-approved of N86.50k per litre, while the Mobil filling station at Hwolshe sold the commodity for N87.
Long queues were, however, observed at the two filling stations as motorists struggled to obtain the commodity at such good prices.
A visit to other filling stations in the city where the commodity was being dispensed, revealed that the prices ranged from N120 and N140 per litre.
At Amana filling station in Kwang, owned by independent marketers, a litre was sold for N120.
Similarly, a litre of the commodity was sold at the cost N120 at the Alkonah filling station in Dadin-Kowa.
There was also marked improvement in Bauchi metropolis following steady supply of the commodity in some petrol filling stations.
The long queues that hitherto became a familiar sight at most filling stations have now almost disappeared.
Both filling stations belonging to Independent and Major Marketers in the state capital were seen dispensing the product.
At two stations of A. Y. Shafa at Muda Lawal and Winti as well as Total Staion at Yandoka Road, few vehicles, motorcycles and tri-cycles were observed on queues.
Alhaji Musa Sani, Chairman, Bauchi State Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), told NAN that the situation would improve more when his members commenced lifting of the products in various depots.
Sani said that officials of the association were currently meeting in Jos, Plateau, to commence full lifting of the product.
He said that lifting tickets would be issued to members of the association latest next week to enable its members lift and sell the product at the regulated price.
Alhaji Sule Aliyu, a motorist in Bauchi, commended President Mohammadu Bahari for bringing the situation under control.
Aliyu said that a four litres of the product was currently selling at between N550 and N600 as against its price of N1, 800 and N2, 200 per litre at the black markets.
In the Federal Capital Territory, motorists have been relieved of the trauma of long weeks of hardship over the supply of the product as normalcy has returned to filling stations.
In fact, Mr Justin Ezeala, Executive Director, Supply and Distribution, Nigeria Products and Marketing Company (NPMC), said that the territory and other parts of the country would be awash with petrol in coming days.
He said that the three refineries in the country were operating at good level, adding that on Friday, Kaduna refinery had seven million litres of petrol to be evacuated for distribution.
Ezeala said that NNPC was doing everything possible to ensure constant availability of petrol in the country.
He stated that the corporation would use the volume of the product from Kaduna to build strategic reserve for the country.
“The good thing now is that the three refineries are working; as at this morning, Kaduna refinery declared over seven million litres for us to evacuate.
“So, it is looking very good; we are going to use the additional volume to build strategic reserve for the country,’’ he said.
Ezeala said that the country had more than enough cargoes of petrol to meet the demands of the people, adding that NNPC had introduced strategies and innovation that would end the lingering scarcity of the product across the country.
“We think that the scarcity will be a thing of the past and that Nigerians should work with us.
“We will continue to thank all of you in the press and public who have given us useful advice that was used to basically take care of the situation.
“But, the message to Nigerians is that we have more than enough cargoes going into the future, and people shouldn’t do panic-buying at any point in time,’’ he said.