The Federal Executive Council had on Wednesday, December 6, mandated the NNPC boss, Maikanti Baru and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu to ensure that all fuel queues disappear before Monday, that is yesterday but, the problem is growing.
Why it matters: The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), through its spokesperson, Ndu Ughamadu, said the queues will disappear – last week.
He said the queues were caused by panic buyers after Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN), threatened to go on strike but the corporation had sufficient stock of the commodity at its depots across the country; just like it has been saying.
But what do we see? Many filling stations in Lagos have closed their gates to buyers although, the queues have reduced.
In the FCT, from where the order came from, black market fuel hawkers in jerry cans, reappeared, selling fuel at exorbitant prices to motorists.
According to Premium Times, most filling stations in Bauchi were closed for official business, as black market operators re-established their business, with most independent marketers and roadside vendors selling petrol at about N200 per litre.
Major marketers, like Mobil Oil and other big independent marketers only open their stations for few hours daily, mostly in the evenings, with a gallon of petrol selling for N1,000 per five litres.
The situation in Uyo, Akwa Ibom worsened at the weekend, with retail fuel price, which rose to about N150 per litre at the onset of the crisis, further rising to N170.
In Osun and Ondo, the scarcity of petroleum products is biting harder
Bottom line: The FEC’s order and the threat by the government to sanction those hoarding fuel has not yielded the required result.
So, the NNPC’s recent and constant announcement that there is enough fuel to go through 2017 and last till 2018 is nothing but ‘noisemaking’.
Even if the fuel is available, what is the problem with the distribution?
This brings us back to the claims that there are plans to increase fuel price.