Petrol Scarcity: Normalcy returns as more stations open in Abuja
FOUR days into the New Year, normalcy seems to have returned to petrol distribution in Abuja as more retail outlets opened to consumers with virtually no queues.
The nation’s capital had 2022 witnessed four circles of acute petrol shortage which eventually led to the intervention of the spy agency, Department of State Security, DSS.
Checks by Vanguard around the city centre yesterday showed that most filling stations were opened to motorists with no queues observed.
In the suburbs, the situation was not different as stations which had not sold any petrol for months opened to consumers.
At Karu and Jikwoyi sections of the Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, outlets operated by Ardova, Forte Oil and NIPCO which had remained shut for months were reopened to motorists.
Pump price however remained varied as with NNPC Retail outlets the cheapest at N179 per litre, while major marketers dispensed at N180 per litre. Prices at stations operated by independent marketers remained high between N230 and N250.
Speaking to Vanguard, the Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Chief Chinedu Ukadika insisted that it was almost impossible for independents to sell below N200 per litre because they buy at private depots.
“Most independent marketers still get their product from private depots which load above N200 per litre. If you add the cost of transportation and other logistics, then what you will have is about N220-N230.
“For us, the operating environment is not the same. The only way to bring our pump price down is for us to gain access to NNPC depots or to be loaded at the same price at the private depots”, he added.
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, had two days before the New Year shutdown seven private depots for loading petrol above the Federal Government approved N148 per litre.
Speaking to journalists, the Authority Chief Executive, Engr. Farouk Ahmed said the depots would remain shut until a decision is reached on how to proceed. He listed the companies to include Ardova, Rainoil, TCL, Bluefin, Danmarma Petroleum and NEPAL.
Engr. Ahmed said two of the depots are in Lagos, two in Warri, one each in Oghara, Port Harcourt and Calabar.