The lack of Premium Motor Spirit, also known as gasoline, resulted in long lines at the few locations that sold it, forcing the closure of numerous gas stations in Abuja and roughly five other states on Wednesday.

Transporters needed PMS to operate their vehicles, and a shortage of it left thousands of commuters stuck at various bus stops in the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Niger, Gombe, Sokoto, and Anambra states.The few carriers who had access to fuel raised their prices, pushing up transportation expenses in the affected states.

Based on the closure of filling stations in the impacted areas, it was determined that the scarcity was caused by a lack of PMS supplies to the capital of the country and other states.On Thursday, oil marketers announced that they would meet with the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s retail subsidiary to discuss the reason behind the shortage and potential solutions. On Wednesday, hundreds of drivers surrounded the NNPC corporate headquarters in Abuja, occupying the Conoil and Total gas stations.

Traffic on the roads heading to the NNPC headquarters and other nearby businesses in Abuja’s Central Business District resulted from this. In Zuba, Niger State, a number of gas stations, including NNPC and AYM Shafa, were closed on Wednesday due to a shortage of fuel.

The NNPC store located on Arab Road, Kubwa, Abuja, was also empty of merchandise. Many other outlets along the Kubwa-Zuba expressway were also shut. In Nyanya, Nasarawa State, many filling stations were closed.

Their inability to operate piled pressure on the few stations that had PMS on Wednesday, leading to massive queues by motorists at these outlets.Oil marketers, however, stated that the reason for the shortage in the supply of PMS to Abuja and neighbouring states was being investigated, adding that a meeting would be held on the matter today (Thursday).“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, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief John Kekeocha, told our correspondent.

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.” Earlier, the National President, IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, told our correspondent that the queues for petrol in many states would be a thing of the past when the Dangote Petroleum Refinery starts pumping out PMS to the domestic market.

But when asked whether the refinery had briefed marketers about when it would start pumping out the product, Maigandi replied, “We don’t know the time. But since he said he would start it, I know that he will do that.“So we are still waiting and we know that once he starts releasing petrol to the domestic market, this issue of fuel scarcity and queues will become a thing of the past.”His position was corroborated by the IPMAN National Public Relations Officer, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, who also expressed hope that the Port Harcourt Refining Company would start producing refined petroleum products very soon.

Commuters strandedDue to the closure of gas stations throughout the state, thousands of commuters headed to their different destinations on Wednesday found themselves stranded at various motor parks in Anambra State.

Due to the closure of gas stations throughout the state, thousands of commuters headed to their different destinations on Wednesday found themselves stranded at various motor parks in Anambra State. As a result of this, the few vehicles plying the road increased the transportation fares by over 200 per cent while commuters who struggled to board them were made to pay the high rates.

Commercial transporters, for example, charged N500 for a journey that used to cost N200, but they charged between N1,200 and N1,500 for a journey that cost N500.The development caused many commuters to start trekking to their various destinations while others waited at the parks.Our correspondent also observed that many offices and business premises did not open till around 10:30 am because their employees had yet to report for duty.The reason why the petrol stations were closed could not be ascertained immediately.

But the development generated a lot of mixed feelings among the public.Some people believed that the petrol stations were on strike, others were of the opinion that it was a deliberate attempt by the marketers to increase the pump price of the commodity.

A tricycle operator plying the Onitsha axis, simply identified as Tochukwu, said, “I bought fuel from the black market for as high as N1,350/litre this morning in order to work, after we discovered that filling stations did not open. Some of my colleagues went to Asaba in Delta State to get the product and that is why transportation fares are high this morning.“We don’t really know why the filling stations are shut, but we are hearing that is like they are in a meeting somewhere in Awka.

We have previously encountered a similar circumstance, and upon returning from their meeting that day, they increased the price of gasoline at the pump. It’s likely to be the same situation, we are watching as events unfold.”A commuter at Awka, Chinwe Okeke, said, “I have been standing at the Regina Caelis Bus Stop for over two hours waiting to board a vehicle to UNIZIK, but it has been difficult.

The vehicles that are coming have been charging very exorbitantly, I don’t know what is really happening.”When contacted on the development, the Anambra State Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Anthony Ifeanya, said, “There is no cause for alarm and commuters and motorists should not panic.“It’s likely that the petrol marketers are in a meeting and whenever they are having such meeting, shutting of petrol stations is a way of compelling every member to attend the meeting. Their meeting usually starts from morning till noon.”It was also observed that the sudden fare hike also affected both interstate and intrastate movements.

Lagos queuesOne of our correspondents observed that the NNPC filling station along Cele expressway in Lagos had long queues on Wednesday due to the fact that the pump price was selling at a lower rate of N585/litre when compared to other filling stations.

But the AP filling station located at Barracks along Chemist Bus Stop in Lagos was not selling petrol.However, there were no queues at Jezco filling station at Oja-Oba, along Pako Bus Stop in Lagos because the station was selling at N650/litre.

There were lengthy lines at the Northwest gas station on the Gbagada expressway because the pump price was N610 per litre.Heavy queues were seen at the NNPC filling station along the Ogudu expressway with the station selling at N585/litre.N710/litre in OgunThe cost of a litre of gasoline has increased to between N650 and N710 for residents of Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State.

While many filling stations were closed on Wednesday, one of our correspondents noticed that the few independent filling stations that were open to customers sold fuel for between N660 and N710 per litre.However, the NNPC mega station along Abiola Way dispensed a litre for N580 but the queues here were very long.

Petrol was sold for N660 per litre at Eternal Oil, which was selling it to a fair number of people along Kobape Road. Other filling stations, like KH in Adigbe, were selling it for N700 per litre and more.Scarcity hits GombeFuel scarcity has hit most filling stations in the Gombe State metropolis.

Some motorists told our correspondent in the state that they suspected sabotage, as fuel was sold for between N760 to N800/litre depending on the station. The worst hit areas are the hinterlands.Bako Hussain, a motorist, said, “We know that it is a sort of plan work by the filling stations.

How can one open today and tomorrow the next one will open and the one that sold yesterday will not open.”Hajara Bala, who was also speaking, stated, “It is difficult to get fuel in the state because lines are forming at filling stations.” I think it’s artificial scarcity.

I do not see why, even with money, we should have to wait with your N760 or more, depending on the station.In Sokoto State, drivers expressed their disapproval of the ongoing hike in gas prices, which escalated to N830 per liter on Wednesday.

Our correspondent in Sokoto discovered on Wednesday night that the majority of the filling stations that had opened for business in the morning had shut down by 4 p.m., increasing the scarcity of the product for customers.

On Wednesday night, almost all of the major marketers—NNPC, AA Rano, Shafa, and others—were not giving out the product.

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