The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has attributed the prevailing fuel scarcity in Abuja to pressure from motorists in the neighbouring states.
The Abuja DPR Zonal Controller, Aliyu Halidu, stated this in an interview in Abuja on Friday. Mr. Halidu, who was reacting to recurrence of petrol scarcity in Abuja and its environs, said that there is enough supply to take care of the needs of motorists in the Nigeria’s capital city. The controller said Abuja with a consumption need of 100 trucks of petrol receives up to 120 trucks of fuel daily.
Mr. Halidu blamed the continuous queues in filling stations in Abuja on the influx of motorists from neighbouring states. He said many motorists in neighbouring states, unable to buy petrol at the official price due to scarcity in their states, come to Abuja to buy the product.
“The supply to Abuja fluctuates between 80 and 120 trucks per day. “Also, why we have queues even if we have 120 trucks in Abuja is because the environs are not being served and they are dried. Those coming from Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi congregate here to take fuel.
“There are commercial vehicles that come with dry tank and they fill their tanks here before they go back,” he said. Another contributing factor, he said, is the stable pump price in Abuja, which he attributed to the effective and efficient monitoring measure put in place by the agency.
Mr. Halidu said that the agency often prevents the marketers from hoarding and diverting the products, stressing that there are times the agency would force them to sell to motorists.
According to him, the agency at times does routine checking to ensure that the products released are discharged at the stations. Mr. Halidu warned marketers against hoarding of products because DPR surveillance teams are on ground to mete punishment of violators.
He stressed that appropriate sanctions would be meted out to offending marketers. Long queues have persisted in filling stations across Abuja and its environs since January.
The DPR and the petroleum ministry have adduced various reasons for the persistence of the petrol scarcity.
Some of the reasons given at various times include hoarding, sabotage, and diversion of the products by marketers. Investigations revealed that although motorists queued for hours to buy fuel, vendors were getting fuel at ease to sell at parallel market rates.
The vendors operated with jerry cans in the precincts of most of the filling stations that had fuel. The fuel vendors were making brisk businesses selling the product at exorbitant prices by the road sides.
They sell 10 litres for between N2, 000 and N2, 500 as against the official subsidised price of N97 per litre.