QUEUES for fuel remained in parts of the country yesterday despite assurances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) that there was no reason for panic buying.
Long queues were noticed in some parts of Lagos like Ojota, Ogba and Ikeja as well as Abeokuta, and Ado Ekiti.
The Ekiti State government warned owners and operators of filling stations in the state to desist from hoarding of petroleum products or face the consequences.
Some filling stations did not sell fuel in Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti states.
Petroleum stations at Iworoko, Ikere Ekiti, old Iyin Road, Bank road, and Ajilosun area of Ado Ekiti failed to open for operation.
IPMAN, NUPENG say there is no need for panic buying
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), urged Nigerians to stop panicking over fuel scarcity as there is sufficient product.
IPMAN said there was sufficient fuel in the country and about six vessels of imported petrol ordered by the NNPC were currently discharging the product.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Mr. Chinedu Okoronkwo, the National President of IPMAN, as saying that all the NNPC depots across the states had commenced loading of petroleum product by marketers.
He said: “Marketers are currently loading petrol in Makurdi, Kano, Enugu, Aba, Yola, Suleja, Kaduna, Ejigbo, Mosinmi, Ibadan and other depots across the country.
“The shortfall in distribution was due to slow pace of product importation and hitches at the jetty which had been addressed.
“But the Federal Government is on top of the situation, there is enough of petrol to go round. I have also instructed all our members to ensure adequate distribution of the product across the country.
“I have also directed them to ensure product is sold at official price of N145 per litre. If there is any issues on distribution and pricing differentials, members should call the secretariat for further action.
“The Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) template has not changed, so, no marketer should influence hike or sell above official price,” he said.
He stressed further that IPMAN had so far reached an agreement with other marketers for better synergy in making the product available in the country.
“IPMAN which controls 80 per cent outlets, has more advantage in distributing and dispensing in both urban and hinterlands in the country.
Mr. Tayo Aboyeji, Chairman, Lagos Zone of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), in a separate interview said: “there is enough fuel, Nigerians should avoid panic buying.”
He said that “there is fuel and it is available, as I am talking to you now, some of the depots have received the products and are already loading.
“What is happening was panic buying, people think there might be price increase from government or removal of subsidy.
But nothing of such, government has assured us that no increase in petrol pricing for now, so, Nigerians and marketers should avoid being panic over fuel scarcity.
“I urge Nigerians and motorists to avoid storing of petrol at home because it’s dangerous for us, fuel is available, I have visited some depots and I can confirmed to you that loading is going on.
“As at Friday, we had instructed our tanker drivers to engage in 24-hours loading activities and lift products from depots to filling stations across the country.
“We will ensure 24-hours service delivery of product distribution in the country, we also urge government to checkmate activities of the task force in Lagos and along Ibadan expressway.
“Our members are being extorted and harassed by members of the task force. Some drivers who were scheduled to load in Lagos were denied asses to Lagos, which also affects effective distribution of products,” he said.
Alhaji Debo Ahmed, the Chairman, Western Zone of IPMAN, however, attributed the ongoing queues at some stations was due to shortfall in NNPC distribution network to depots.
Ahmed said that all depots within the South-West zone were loading at a low pace due to insufficient products.
“We have lots of pending tickets from marketers awaiting loading at depots but were still stranded.
Ekiti warns dealers of petroleum products against hoarding.