By Aisha Gambo
Kaduna, May 12, 2022 Most fuel stations in Kaduna are still clogged with vehicles and long queues, as petrol scarcity looms following the strike warning by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
It will be recalled that IPMAN on Monday threatened to embark on strike over N500 billion unpaid bridging claims.
The association, however, urged the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), to pay its members, warning that failure to pay outstanding claims could lead to disruption in fuel distribution.
A correspondent who monitored the situation in Kaduna on Wednesday, reports that long queues were noticeable at fuel stations in the capital city.
Fuel stations belonging to major and independent marketers had long queues while others were closed as they run out of stock of the products.
The few available stations were dispensing fuel between N180 and N195 above the N165 approved pump price.
Some of the motorists who spoke to NAN in separate interviews, said the situation exposed them to difficulties.
Mr Ismail Dauda, a commercial tricycle operator, said he observed long queues in fuel stations on Monday, and urged the Federal Government and IPMAN to resolve their differences.
“Few days ago fuel was available, you can get it without stress but we have started experiencing scarcity as some of the fuel stations closed.
“Petrol is being sold above approved pump price in some stations, the trend is not encouraging. I prefer to wait on the queue and pay N165 per liter,” he said.
Mr Haroon Nasir, anithery motorists, said he spent many hours on the queue to fill his tank, adding that people had started panick buying of the product.
“Fuel is essential to the economic development of the country and as such should be taken seriously, the government should arrest the situation before the scarcity heightens.
“The marketers should also consider the plight of Nigerians and the economic situation in the country, they should be moderate in their demands to enable the government to meet their demands quickly ” he said.
Also, Mr Yusuf Ibrahim, an artesan, said that persistent scacity negatively affected his businesses and forced him to spend much on fuel to run his power generator.
He said that people had considered the warning by IPMAN seriously and began panick buying of petrol, a trend which compounded the situation.
“The solution is sincerity between the two parties as something is wrong somewhere interms of fuel subsidy.
“It is desirable for the government to rehabilitate, upgrade existing refineries and encourage establishment of new ones to address the situation,” he said.
Reacting, an official of IPMAN in Kaduna State, who preferred anonymity, said the strike was the last option of the association to demand for the payment of N500 billion unpaid bridging claims by the relevant authorities.
The situation, he said, affected the capacity of the marketers to purchase petroleum products to ensure adequate distribution of the product across the country.
“We sympathise with the masses over the situation but we can’t do otherwise,” ,he said.