Amid the uncertainty about the removal of fuel subsidy and some supply glitches, filling stations in Ibadan and neighbouring states were shut on Monday which led to queues by motorists in the other outlets that dispensed Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, and panic buying in the city as well as Lagos and Ogun State.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr Clement Isong, stated that the queues were due to some operational challenges. However, he declined to give details of the challenge, saying that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is set to issue a statement concerning the issue.
Recall that last week, major national newspapers had reported that due to adulterated fuel in circulation, which motorists said was causing damage to their vehicles, some fuel stations suspended operations following intervention by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Ibadan Depot, under the leadership of its chairman, Alhaji Bukola Mutiu, which set machinery in motion to check fuel stations dispensing adulterated fuel.
Mutiu told the Nigerian Tribune that it was what marketers are being supplied from the private depots in Lagos that was responsible for the problem.
Therefore, the queue may not be unconnected with this development.
Resurfacing of fuel queues in Ibadan and Lagos is coming contrary to the report that the NNPC earlier told Nigerians not to panic, assuring them that it had sufficient PMS stock to meet their needs. According to some commercial drivers interviewed, queues were noticed in Ajah, Lekki, and Victoria Island on Sunday.
They alleged that some filling stations refused to attend to customers on Monday, while others opened their outlets but claimed that the product was not available.
When Nigerian Tribune moved around Ibadan, some filling stations such as Mobil, NNPC, Enyo, Fatgbems and Warera AP, among others on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway were not selling the product to the public.
Speaking with Nigerian Tribune on Monday in a telephone chat, Isong disclosed that the queue was due to ‘little supply hiccups’, saying that it had nothing to do with the suspension of subsidy’s removal as being speculated by the public.
“It was caused by little supply hiccups. We have asked them to ramp up the supply. NNPC is set to issue a statement, so let’s wait for that.”
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, said he did not know the reason for the queues on Sunday, explaining that tankers have been loading PMS from the depot without delay.