Thousands of commuters had been left stranded for hours at various bus stops in Abuja and neighbouring states of Nasarawa and Niger on Tuesday following widespread petrol scarcity that hit the areas on Tuesday.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria’s sole importer of petrol, had to intervene by releasing over a thousand trucks of petrol to help ameliorate the situation.
The petrol supply situation improved on Wednesday as the scarcity dropped, leading to a reduction in the number of motorists queueing at filling stations.
Filling stations, particularly those in some satellite towns of Abuja dispensed petrol at rates higher than the approved N165/litre price on Wednesday, as queues in the Federal Capital Territory gradually reduced.
As at the time of filling this report, filling stations in the city centre and those along major expressways in Abuja dispensed have started dispensing petrol at the regulated price.
A filling station on the Village Market Road in Kubwa, a popular suburb in Abuja, dispensed petrol at N175/litre on Wednesday afternoon.
One of the attendants who refused to give his name stated that it was not certain that petrol price would not be hiked in May despite the assurance given by NNPC.
The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, also stated that the price of petrol might change regardless of the assurance of NNPC.
According to him, marketers are still of the view that petrol price might change and that is one of the reasons why we still have queues in many filling stations.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, had announced on Monday that the corporation would retain the ex-depot price of petrol at about N148/litre rate in May, meaning that there would be no increase beyond the N165/litre pump price in May.
The NNPC announced that it increased the daily supply of petrol from 550 trucks to 1,661 trucks to cushion the massive and widespread scarcity of petrol in Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger states.
The Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of NNPC, Musa Lawan, said there were about two billion litres of petrol in strategic depots to keep the nation well supplied for two months if no drop of fuel was imported in that period.
Lawan said, “We have embarked on massive load out. Today, we trucked out 1,661 trucks from all depots across the country.”
He is therefore optimistic that the queues would be eased out as the trucks discharge at the filling stations.