Fuel queues return to Lagos amid supply shortage

Long queues of motorists in search of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol, returned to major parts of Lagos yesterday amid claims of shortage in supply.

Findings by NationReformer.com across some fuel stations in Ogba, Ikeja, New Oko Oba, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Ikoyi and Lekki-Epe Expressway, revealed that motorists had a hectic day in a bid to source for the commodity.

At the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) fuel station on Alfred Rewane Road, the chaotic situation at the retail outlet further compounded  traffic for Lagosians who have just left their various churches, en route their homes. The situation was also the same on the Lekki-Epe Expressway corridor as long queues of motorists dotted the major highway.

In Ikeja, the Forte Oil by the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, equally had long queues of motorists as same situation was also witnessed at the Forte Oil opposite Berger Yard Bus-stop.

On the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, most of the filling stations along the corridor were not dispensing fuel, an indication that there was shortage in supply.

Executive Secretary of Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Mr. Olufemi Adewole, noted that there was shortage of petrol supply across the country.

Adewole said that what was playing out at the moment was the preference of NNPC to deploy more supplies to major marketers. “The truth is that there is short supply at the moment. If NNPC can increase supply, we will be able to get to inland areas and focus on major cities but I can tell you there is no much supply at the moment,’’ he said.

Adewole’s claims were further corroborated by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, who said there has been a slight change in the distribution network in Lagos, as Lagos is currently being supplied by members of MOMAN.

“At the weekend, there was a hitch in discharging of petrol by ships which has been ratified.” He, however, said  NNPC, on Sunday, had released 250 trucks of petrol to Lagos metropolis for effective dispensing at fuel stations to forestall any scarcity. Today, 250 trucks have been discharged to Lagos compared to less than 200 trucks usually allocated to Lagos at the weekend,” he said.

The NNPC spokesperson said the ships, which commenced discharging since Saturday night had finished discharging, adding that in a couple of hours, the long queues will disappear and normalcy will return to Lagos.

Ughamadu urged motorists to avoid hoarding petrol and panic buying, as there is sufficient product in stock that will last for days.

The NNPC image-maker also acknowledged a slight hitch at the Port Harcourt Refinery due to power problem. “Port Harcourt Refinery is slightly down for now, pending when the problem will be rectified,” he said.

A manager in one petroleum marketing company, who pleaded anonymity told NationReformer.com that the company was consistently loading and supplying to marketers but the volume had marginally dropped.

“I can confirm we are currently loading but I don’t have the statistics; however, I must say that we don’t have enough supply at the moment. I think that explains the resurgence of queues at filling stations,” he said.