Fuel Queues Resurface in Abuja as Depot Prices Surge to N710/Litre

Fuel Scarcity in Abuja Filling Stations Queue
Fuel Scarcity in Abuja Filling Stations Queue
Fuel Scarcity in Abuja Nigeria

New fuel queues for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, emerged in Abuja and parts of Niger and Nasarawa States on Friday, following the closure of numerous filling stations operated by independent marketers.

These dealers shut down their outlets due to an inability to access petrol, attributed to a price hike by private depot owners, raising the ex-depot price to N710 per litre.

Motorists flocked to the few stations that were dispensing fuel, particularly those operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and major oil marketers in Abuja and surrounding areas.

This situation resulted in long queues at stations such as the NNPC mega station on the Gwarimpa axis of the Zuba-Kubwa Expressway, as well as Conoil and Total stations near the NNPC headquarters in Abuja city centre, and Salbas station at the Dei-Dei end of the Zuba-Kubwa expressway.

Independent marketers, who control over 70% of filling stations nationwide, attributed the queue resurgence to the increased ex-depot price set by private depot owners.

Abubakar Maigandi, National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), informed Saturday PUNCH that private depot owners had raised the ex-depot price to N710 per litre, while NNPC retail stations were selling at N617 per litre.

Maigandi explained, “The current situation is due to the selling practices of private depot owners. It has become challenging for independent marketers to procure and sell petrol in Abuja and nearby states, as well as other northern regions.

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“The queues are a result of the high cost of PMS from private depots, priced at N710 per litre, compared to NNPC’s N617 per litre. When we purchase at N710 per litre and add transportation costs, the pump price exceeds the ex-depot price, unlike the lower cost at NNPC outlets.

“With over 250 IPMAN retail outlets in Abuja alone, any disruption in supply to our members leads to queues, as major marketers and NNPC stations are fewer in number.”

Addressing the possibility of direct PMS supply from NNPC, Maigandi stated, “We are negotiating with NNPC for allocations. While we have started receiving products, the volume is insufficient for our nationwide network.”

Maigandi noted that fuel queues were less pronounced in remote villages. “In city centres, where NNPC stations sell cheaper than N710 per litre, queues are visible in front of the few outlets with products,” he added.

He emphasized that there is no scarcity of petrol, attributing the queues to market challenges. “The product is available. Once we receive sufficient volumes from NNPC or reasonably priced supplies, the queues will disappear,” Maigandi assured.

Officials from the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources confirmed adequate in-country product availability, noting the deregulated market status. “Dealers operate based on demand and supply. There is no scarcity,” a ministry official stated.

An NNPC official also reassured motorists, stating that the company had sufficient product stocks, and the queues would clear out swiftly.

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