Long queues of vehicles have returned to filling stations in Lagos. No thanks to fuel scarcity.
Fuel scarcity bites harder in Lagos. Many filling stations did not open for business. Others that opened and sold fuel at the official pump price of N86.50 were observed deducting N50 or N100 from buyers, depending on the quantity of litres they bought.
When The Nation visited some filling stations in the metropolis, the queues of residents buying in jerry cans were longer than that of motorists.
The situation was compounded by poor power supply.
The queues created gridlock along the routes housing filling stations and the highways, especially at the Omole junction to Berger on Lagos-Ibadan road.
A Keke Marwa operator in Agege, Timothy, said he bought 10 litres of fuel and the fuel attendant collected N100 as bribe from him.
He said: “When will I stop to suffer in this country. I couldn’t even say a word when she deducted the money because I was on queue for over six hours. I just needed to work today because we don’t pay for any ticket on Sundays.”
A resident in Oshodi, Mr. Jobi Atobatele, said he had to leave his house to buy fuel because he could not stand the heat.
“I sent my son last night to buy fuel, but he said the queue was long and that they only attended to area boys. I am out today and I must say the situation is not better.
“I will make sure I buy fuel because we hardly have light these days. I refuse to adapt to things like this because it is painful. Everything changed in the country within weeks. Where is the problem from?” he lamented.
Another resident, Joseph, said: “It is a recurring problem that seems to define logic. There is always one explanation or the other. We just need to refine our oil locally. Anything short of that, we will continue to be at the mercy of international suppliers.”
A driver, Mufule Suraj, said he bought petrol in a jerry can last week to avoid long queues.
“I don’t pray to face what happened last year, when I resumed at filling stations at 4am. This fuel scarcity has been happening for about two weeks, but yesterday’s scenario was worse.
“Most of us work freely on Sundays without disturbance from area boys, but today, we bus drivers are at filling stations for tomorrow’s business. We need help in this country. For how long do we want to do this? The Federal Government shouldn’t allow it to exceed this week.”
Babatunde Adisa, an analyst, said it was unfortunate that “Nigerians are still lamenting over scarcity of fuel at this stage of our nationhood”.
“We are one of the largest producers of the product in the world. One would have thought that the current administration would have found a lasting solution to the perennial fuel shortage, which was one of its cardinal points during the electioneering period.
“Already, we can see the effects of fuel scarcity, which include worsening poverty level and rise in inflation. If it is not addressed in time, this scarcity may lead to another social unrest. It appears the oil marketers are literally holding the nation by the jugular. In my view, this is an artificial scarcity,” he said.
Source: The Nation Nigeria