FCT, Abuja – As acute fuel scarcity returns to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have commenced a new campaign to battle the current situation.
Hotmedia.ng gathered that this is coming amid reports of an increment in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.
•Fuel stations increase pump price
On Thursday, January 19, FCT residents witnessed an adjustment in the pump price of the product amid its unavailability.
Most of the filling stations visited by our correspondent were selling the product above N179, even at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company’s service stations.
At the NNPC station located in Zone 1, the product was sold at N194 a litre. Other filling stations within the area were selling at N195 per litre. The product was also sold at N180 per at the AYM filling station in the Wuye area of the nation’s capital.
Also, the NNPC service station in Ushafa that used to sell the product at N179 per litre sold at N194.
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•Fuel crisis in Nigeria: Perennial scarcity continues
Legit.ng reports that since the Christmas and New Year celebrations queues have returned to filling stations across the nation’s capital, with most car owners buying the product from the black market between N300 – N400 per litre.
But the latest increment across petrol stations has resulted in panic buying as most car owners believe that the development looks more like a gradual removal of fuel subsidy.
•DSS, DPR storm stations
At the NNPC filling station in Ushafa, DSS officials were seen destroying jerricans brought to the station by black marketers.
A male DSS official who declined comment was seen tearing into pieces jerricans brought in to purchase the product for the black market business.
Most of the black marketers ran helter-skelter when the secret police stormed the station in a commando-like style.
Also, seen at filling stations are officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources who were seen taking measurements of the litres.
When two of the female officials of the DPR were approached at one of the stations to comment on the price increment and why they were taking measurements, they declined, saying they were not authorized to speak to the press.
Pressed further on whether the pump price has been increased, they said they couldn’t answer the question as they only came to do their job.
Legit.ng observed that the DPR officials did not question the current pump prince, a further confirmation of the price increment.
•NNPC official reacts
But an official of the NNPC who does not want his name in print said the price increment had nothing to do with the removal of subsidy on the product.
According to him, the depot price was responsible for the price adjustments across stations.
He said both the scarcity and the price increment were caused by the depot price of the product.
He also clarified that the Dangote refinery is ready for take-off.
“As I speak, the Dangote refinery is set for take-off. Recruitment has been concluded and staff are already waiting for the take-off. It may likely start operations by the end of the month or early next month. This will affect the downstream positively.”
•Marketers give reason for fuel scarcity
Meanwhile, oil marketers said the supply hitches associated with the distribution of petrol may persist till June 2023.
They stated that the scarcity of the product is based on the government’s plan to end the petrol subsidy.
Speaking on the development, the national public relations officer of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike, said fuel imports and subsidy were making Nigerians suffer.