Scarcity: Filling stations sell petrol at black market rate

Written by PeterPiper

Filling stations in many parts of Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna and Nasarawa are dispensing petrol at similar rates with black marketeers who hawk the product in jerry cans.

On Saturday, many petrol stations, particularly those in satellite towns dispensed petrol at between N150 to N170 per litre, depending on how obscure the outlet is compared to other major filling stations that are strategically located at the city centres.

Black marketeers in Abuja and environs sold 10 litres of petrol for between N1,700 to N2,000, depending on the bargaining power of the customer.

The black marketeers, it was learnt, get their products from major oil marketers at unofficial rates, particularly at night.

The officially approved price of petrol as regulated by the Federal Government is N86.5 per litre.

While black marketeers sell petrol between N170 and N200 per litre, some petrol stations were bold enough to sell the commodity for between N150 to N170 on Saturday.

For instance, on Byazhim Road in Kubwa, a popular satellite town in Abuja, the management of the only functional petrol station in the area dispensed fuel at N150 per litre.

Far away in Chikampere, still in Kubwa, another obscure petrol station dispensed the commodity at N160 per litre.

In Bwari, our correspondent observed that the independent marketers who sold the product on Saturday dispensed petrol at between N120 to N150 per litre.

However, despite the high cost of the commodity, there were still heavy queues in front of the outlets that dispensed petrol on Saturday.

Motorists and petrol seekers formed long queues as they patiently waited to be served by attendants in the stations visited.

Our correspondent observed that many other outlets in Abuja and neighbouring states were not selling petrol on Saturday as they claimed that they did not have products for sale.

In Lagos, it was observed that only the outlets of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and those of major oil marketers sold fuel at the official price.

One of our correspondents who monitored the situation in Ikeja area and along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway observed that while the major outlets were besieged by customers and recorded longer queues, other filling stations in the areas, who sold fuel at between N120 and N130 per litre had shorter queues.

Petrol stations in the border towns between Lagos and Ogun State such as Ibafo and Mowe along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; and Sango-Ota along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway sold the commodity at N120 per litre on the average.

Kachikwu meets CBN

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Ibe Kachikwu, on Saturday said he has commenced consultations with the Central Bank of Nigeria on issues regarding the demand of foreign exchange by major oil marketers in order to enable them start importing petrol.

According to him, the move was aimed at reducing the burden faced by oil marketers while trying to access forex, adding that the NNPC had been the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, a development that was not sustainable.

Kachikwu spoke in Abuja while monitoring petrol stations in the Federal Capital Territory and noted that the petrol scarcity situation was beginning to weigh in on the capacity of the NNPC to satisfy the country’s consumption of petrol, which is officially reported at 40 million litres per day.

On how to assist marketers with respect to accessing forex, the minister said, “God willing, we will see this through and under one or two days, we should be clear.

“We are working collaboratively with the Central Bank of Nigeria to try and look at long term solutions the oil majors so that they can begin to go back and bring in their own products.  Apologies again to Nigerians, nobody wants to see this.”

On efforts so far put in place to address the scarcity, Kachikwu said,

“We have enough coming in. Obviously, the three days of strike hit us very badly but we are flogging an average of over 300 trucks again into Abuja. It is going to take a while for the queues to clear off and we are hoping that between tomorrow and the next one, two days, the queues will all disappear.”

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