By Michael Eboh
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, appears to have carried out its threat of embarking on strike, as Fuel queues returned yesterday, in major petrol stations in Abuja, Nasarawa state and environs.
Most petrol stations across the Federal Capital Territory was shut down, while long queues were witnessed in the few that were selling, forcing motorists to spend long hours trying to get the commodity.
Specifically, as at 10am, the NNPC Mega Station at Kado, in Abuja, was shut down, while officials of the station said they do not have products to dispense, while at another NNPC mega station in the Central Business District, long queues were witnessed.
However, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, allayed fears over scarcity of the product, stating that it has enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless, supply and distribution of products across the country.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, in an interview with Vanguard, blamed the queues on the threat by IPMAN following their disagreement with depot owners and managers, while he clarified that the NNPC has enough quantity of the product to meet the demands of the country.
He also attributed the queues to panic buying, while he added that the NNPC would continue to make efforts toward ensuring unhindered supply of petroleum products across the country.
In addition, Ughamadu, in a statement in Abuja, enjoined motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumour of an impending fuel price hike, stating that it has the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders including petroleum marketers and industry unions to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond.
He also enjoined motorists not to engage in panic buying or indulge in the dangerous practice of stocking petroleum products in jerry cans at home.
He noted that its downstream subsidiary companies namely the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and NNPC
Retail Limited are fully geared up to ensure that motorists enjoy uninterrupted access to petrol throughout the nation.
He further asserted that there is no plan to increase the prices of petroleum products, both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming Yuletide.
He noted that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre have not changed, noting that the NNPC has enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.