Fuel Scarcity Hits Hard: Commuters Stranded, Fares Surge Across Nigeria


Travellers and commuters nationwide faced dire circumstances yesterday as the fuel scarcity crisis intensified, leaving many stranded at bus stops and motor parks across the country.

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and oil marketers pledged intensified efforts to alleviate the scarcity, yet many filling stations remained closed in Lagos and Abuja. Those with fuel witnessed long queues as they sold to motorists and users at elevated prices.

In Lagos and Abuja, desperate motorists turned to black market operators, purchasing fuel at exorbitant rates of between N900 and N1,000 per litre. Similarly, high fares crippled both inter and intra-state journeys, with Lagos-Abuja trips skyrocketing from N30,000 to as much as N50,000, prompting cancellations.

The situation worsened in Makurdi, Benue state, where petrol prices reached N780 per litre, exacerbating the plight of commuters and motorists. Filling stations faced shortages, with the few operational ones selling fuel at inflated rates, further burdening consumers.

Elsewhere, in Jos-Bukuru, transport fares surged by 17% to 50%, reflecting the impact of high fuel costs on drivers and passengers alike.

In response, the Kwara State government’s task force raided filling stations in Ilorin, cautioning against hoarding fuel and reassuring citizens of efforts to address the scarcity. However, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) was notably absent from monitoring stations, allowing dealers to exploit consumers.

In Lagos, residents grappled with limited transportation options, as commercial buses hiked fares by over 100%, leaving many stranded or resorting to trekking. LASTMA issued warnings to motorists causing gridlock at filling stations, vowing to impound vehicles impeding traffic flow.

Amidst these challenges, the Major Energy Marketers Association of Nigeria (MEMAN) assured efforts to ease the shortage, with members collaborating to enhance fuel distribution nationwide. Similarly, NNPC acknowledged ongoing efforts to eliminate queues, anticipating a return to normalcy in the coming days.

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