The ongoing fuel crisis is having its toll on Nigerians across the country, with some people now spending the night at filling stations just to get the commodity.
The manhour loss can better be imagined. When TheCable visited some filling stations in Lagos and Abuja, motorists narrated their gruelling experiences.
A public transport driver at a Peridot Oil and Gas Station in FESTAC, Lagos spoke on how he spent the night at the station.
“We have been here since 8pm yesterday. Some of us slept here. Up till now, we have not had any chance to go and take our bath,” the driver identified as Ojo said.
“They were selling to people with gallons but when we reached the director, he gave order to the manager to stop selling to people with gallons.”
Ojo added that the crisis is “seriously affecting our business.”
“The few ones that have are selling for N230 a litre; some are selling N200.”
PEOPLE BUYING THROUGH THE ‘BACKDOOR’
The situation at Mobil Filling Station along Karu-Nyanya road in Abuja is also depressing. Some of the motorists accused the station attendants of selling the commodity to some “rich men” through the back door.
A car owner said even though “some of us have been here since 1am,…we have not been able to get any fuel.”
“At the second line, they are collecting money; from N1000 to N500 as gate fee,” he said.
“We that have been here since the night but our own line is not moving since we did not pay any money.”
WE CAN’T WORK BECAUSE OF FUEL SCARCITY’
While the crisis bites hard on some of the road users, a tricyclist at the station wants government to find a solution to the situation before the year ends.
“Government should do something about it so that it will not continue in January. Because if it continues in January, it won’t be good, December has already gone,” the man identified as Anyanwu Samson said.
“Throughout December, we did not work. We are not doing any work again. We only work for few hours in a day and park.
“From Nyanya to Jikwoyi which we used to carry N50 is now N100. People are frustrated and passengers are complaining.
“A litre of fuel at black market is N350. They are selling normal price of N145 at the filling station although they don’t give in gallons. The little you will buy, if you go a short distance, it will finish.
“If it continues next year, there will be a problem. The government will keep promising and at the end of the day, nothing will be done.”
‘BLACK MARKETERS’ EXPERIENCING BOOM
Moreover, there appears to be a particular group enjoying the current fuel crisis: small-scale sellers of the commodity better known as ‘Black marketers’.
While some filling stations in Abuja sell the price of N145 a litre, some of the “black marketers” sell for as high as N400.
“It is very horrible,” a motorcyclist told TheCable, “I bought at N300 not because I have enough money but I needed to work. If a passenger doesn’t want to pay the high amount we charge, the person should forget it.”
NNPC HASN’T FULFILLED ITS PROMISE
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had promised that the queues would end this week.
Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the corporation, had blamed marketers for the crisis, saying part of what caused it was the rumours about the purported planned increase in the pump price of petrol.
“But we swiftly swung into action by doubling our supply nationwide. At the time the rumour started, we had about 30-day sufficiency,” he said.
“The normal daily supply to the nation is 700 trucks, equaling about 27-30 million litres per day.”
He had also assured Nigerians that the NNPC had enough products sufficiency that would last up to 30 days.