Motorists groan as fuel scarcity hits Lagos

Stations like NPOG in Ishaga and NNPC/Mobil at the College Bus stop had also run out of fuel, further worsening the situation
Petrol station
Petrol stationvanguardngr

Many filling stations in Lagos experienced long queues despite the suspension of the National Association of Road Transport Owners' strike. 

The queues began forming on Tuesday and persisted throughout Wednesday due to fears of a potential fuel scarcity. 

Major roads in Lagos were congested due to the queues, affecting areas like Alausa, Ogunnusi, Ojodu-Berger, and Ikorodu Road, while filling stations such as Mobil, Total, Conoil, and NNPC stations had lengthy queues. 

Some stations like Apata Round-about and Total Filling station near Isolo General Hospital were unable to sell fuel. Stations like NPOG in Ishaga and NNPC/Mobil at the College Bus stop had also run out of fuel, further worsening the situation.

On Wednesday, amid concerns of an impending fuel scarcity, the Quest fuel station along Asuani Road stood out as the sole operational filling station, besieged by a long queue of cars and customers desperate to secure fuel at the exorbitant price of N640 per litre. 

Along the bustling Gbagada Road, a similar scene unfolded at NorthWest, where a queue of vehicles snaked its way around the station, offering petrol at a slightly lower rate of N610 per litre. 

However, the adjacent Eternal station at Gbagada Bus Stop remained shuttered, adding to the frustration of motorists already grappling with the scarcity.

Meanwhile, in the Ikotun area of Lagos State, a visit to the NNPCL fuel station revealed its doors firmly closed, indicating an unavailability of fuel. 

The situation was no better at God’s Decision along Governor Road in Ikotun, where a long line of vehicles stretched down the street, reflecting the anxiety and uncertainty among customers regarding the possibility of a looming fuel crisis.

Speaking to concerned customers at God’s Decision, one individual shared rumors of an impending fuel scarcity, attributing it to a potential strike by tanker drivers. 

This sentiment was echoed by the Vice National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers, Hammed Fashola, who confirmed that the recent two-day strike by tanker drivers had contributed to the current queues at filling stations. 

However, Fashola reassured the public that operations would soon return to normalcy, as the strike had been called off and loading of fuel had resumed.

The impact of the fuel scarcity extended beyond inconvenience, with commuters left stranded and forced to seek alternative transportation options. 

The black market emerged as a grim solution for those desperate for fuel, where prices soared to as high as N1,000 per litre. 

This dire situation prompted reflections on the broader socio-economic challenges facing Nigeria, with some individuals questioning the country's heavy reliance on crude oil and the lack of sustainable solutions to energy and transportation woes.

The root cause of the fuel scarcity could be traced back to the grievances of tanker drivers over inadequate freight rates, as highlighted in a letter from NARTO President, Yusuf Othman. 

Despite efforts to negotiate with authorities and major marketers, the stalemate persisted, leaving both consumers and industry stakeholders grappling with the consequences.

As the queues persisted and frustrations mounted, the fuel scarcity underscored the pressing need for comprehensive solutions to Nigeria's energy infrastructure challenges. 

While the immediate focus was on alleviating the plight of affected individuals and addressing the root causes of the crisis, the incident served as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities inherent in the country's fuel supply chain and the imperative for long-term reforms to ensure energy security and stability.

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