Two weeks after the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit started, it has continued to bite hard in some parts of the country.
PMS is popularly referred to as petrol.
In spite of the promises by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke, to rectify the situation, many petrol stations across the country were still shut as of Friday.
Reports from our correspondents showed that fuel was still being sold for as high as N110 and N160 per litre at some petrol stations as against the official price of N97 per litre.
Also, due to the scarcity of fuel, there were still long queues of vehicles at petrol stations and the activities of black marketeers remained rife in some places.
In Rivers State, fuel scarcity was prevalent.
Most motorists have been patronising black marketeers, who sell 20 litres of fuel for N4, 000.
There were still long queues at few filling stations dispensing fuel to motorists at prices ranging from N120 to N150 per litre.
The situation forced commercial bus operators to increase transport fare by at least 50 per cent.
In Bayelsa State, particularly the Yenagoa metropolis, scarcity of the product persisted on Friday.
At some filling stations, long queues were noticed, while the activities of black marketeers thrived.
Also, commercial buses, taxis and tricycle operators hiked their fares.
A motorist, who gave his name as Preye, stated that apart from increasing the price of a litre to between N120 and N130 in most filling stations, the stations had adjusted their meters.
“The implication of meter adjustment is that motorists are faced with multiple problems. You buy petrol at an exorbitant price, yet the quantity has been reduced,” he said.
In Plateau State, a litre of fuel cost as much as N160. Long queues of vehicle were seen at most filling stations in Jos and Bukuru metropolis.
At NNPC Mega stations, queues stretched up to three kilometres as they were the only stations selling at N97 per litre. Our correspondent observed that black marketeers sold fuel for N250 per litre.
Many motorists were forced to leave their vehicles at filling stations for three days before they could buy fuel.
A larger percentage of fuel stations in Akure were still locked up due to lack of adequate supply of petrol in the city as of Friday.
A few petrol stations sold fuel for between N110 to N135 per litre.
The situation was the same in major towns in the state such as Ondo, Owo, Ore and Okitipupa.
Some of the few filling stations that opened for business sold fuel at N130 per litre.
The few NNPC filling stations that sold at N97 per litre had very long queues of vehicles.
Our correspondent who went round Osogbo, Ila Orangun and Ikirun on Friday observed that most filling stations did not sell petrol.
A litre of petrol now sells for N120 in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, as against the Federal Government’s regulated price of N97 per litre.
Our correspondent who monitored the fuel situation in Ilorin metropolis on Friday, observed that there was petrol in many stations while fuel station attendants dispensed fuel to customers.
Managers of fuel stations that spoke to our correspondent in confidence, said they were buying the petrol above the regulated price.
The Department of Petroleum Resources in Ilorin has sealed two petrol stations and penalised another one for allegedly hoarding petrol and selling above the official pump price of N97 per litre.
DPR, Kwara State Controller, Mr. Amos Jokodola, told our correspondent on Saturday that the three petrol stations would remain sealed until their pumps were rectified.
Jokodola denied claims that marketers bought fuel at higher rates.
Lagos and Abuja
The situation had however improved in Lagos and Abuja. The queues at petrol stations in both cities were shorter on Friday compared to a week earlier.
However, a reasonable number of petrol stations in Lagos and Abuja remained shut, apparently due to lack of fuel.
At the filling stations visited by our correspondents in both cities, PMS was sold at the official rate. Punch