METRO

Transport fare skyrocket as fuel scarcity hits Abuja, five states

Fuel scarcity has hit several states across Nigeria, leading to the closure of many filling stations and causing heavy queues at the few outlets dispensing petrol.

The Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) shortage, commonly known as petrol, has left thousands of commuters stranded and significantly increased transport fares.

In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasarawa, Niger, Gombe, Sokoto, and Anambra states, commuters faced difficulties accessing transportation due to the scarcity of PMS needed by transporters to operate their vehicles.

Transport fares skyrocketed in the affected states as the limited number of transporters with access to petrol raised their rates.

The scarcity was attributed to a shortage in the supply of PMS to the nation’s capital and neighbouring states, prompting oil marketers to schedule a meeting with the management of the retail subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to address the issue.

Meanwhile, motorists besieged the few filling stations selling petrol, causing traffic congestion on roads leading to the outlets.

Several filling stations, including NNPC outlets, were closed in Zuba, Niger State, and other areas due to the unavailability of petrol.

In Nyanya, Nasarawa State, many filling stations also shut their doors, exacerbating the scarcity and causing long queues at operational outlets.

Oil marketers acknowledged the supply shortage and indicated that investigations were underway to determine the cause. They expressed optimism that the issue would be addressed during the meeting with NNPC officials.

“It is obvious that there is supply shortage in Abuja and other states that are close to the FCT (Federal Capital Territory),” the National Secretary of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief John Kekeocha, told Punch.

He added, “This is the reason why many filling stations in these areas are not selling PMS, which, of course, has led to the serious queues you see in the few ones that are dispensing the product. I cannot tell you the reason for this supply shortage now.

“But we are meeting with NNPC Regal tomorrow (Thursday), and this is going to form part of our discussions. The matter is being looked into right now, and we hope to find a solution to it during the meeting.”

The situation in Anambra State was particularly dire, with thousands of commuters left stranded at motor parks due to the unavailability of vehicles caused by the closure of petrol stations. This led to a surge in transportation fares, with some routes experiencing fare hikes of over 200%.

Residents in Lagos and Ogun states also faced challenges as filling stations experienced long queues, and petrol prices varied widely.

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