Fuel queues resurface in Lagos, Abuja as major marketers reduce imports

A week after queues of desperate motorists disappeared from filling stations across the country, the nation is in for another round of fuel scarcity as marketers have significantly reduced petroleum product importation due to the uncertainty over government’s willingness to pay subsidy after the general elections scheduled to hold on March 28 and April 11.

Major oil marketers who import a large chunk of petrol consumed locally were reportedly stalling on further importation of the product and not ready to tie their money down owing to fears that power could change hands after the general elections.

The marketers, it was learnt, were keen about minimizing losses, which could occur as a result of developments in the political arena; hence the return of queues at filling stations in Lagos, Abuja and other major cities in the past three days.

In Lagos, some filling stations were shut on Wednesday as their owners claimed they were not getting supplies from the depots.

The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Lagos Zone, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, said there was no reason why queues should resurface at the filling stations any time soon because of the recent intervention of the federal government.

Korodo however said that the current political situation in the country, especially uncertainties surrounding the forthcoming general elections, had become worrisome to major marketers.

Korodo confirmed that the marketers were currently taking actions to check possible losses that could affect their businesses, and were unwilling to go all out to import products.

He described the current petrol supply situation as artificial; saying the recent stoppage of importation by the major marketers could also be working against a perfect market situation.

“The effects of the shortage in supply, which caused the last scarcity, are still there. Some of the gaps are yet to be filled,” said.


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