Fuel Scarcity Spurs Panic Buying, Stockpiling as Black Market Sales Surge

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As fuel scarcity persists nationwide, panic buying ensues, leading to stockpiling of petrol in homes and offices. Black market sales surge, surpassing filling stations, raising concerns about safety risks associated with storing inflammable fuel.

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Mrs. Vivian Opara, a chemical engineer, voices apprehension over the precarious handling of petroleum products by Nigerians, warning of potential catastrophic fires that could engulf entire neighborhoods.

Investigations by Vanguard reveal a booming black market for petrol in Lagos neighborhoods like Ajegunle, Orile, and FESTAC, reminiscent of fuel smuggling activities in neighboring countries. Car owners like Mr. Kevin Eze opt for street vendors over long queues at filling stations to meet daily obligations.

Commercial drivers, such as Mr. Ade Taiwo, lament the profit squeeze from buying costly black market fuel, with reduced passenger demand due to fare hikes.

The scarcity has led to diminished traffic on roads, with many vehicles parked at home or stuck in fuel queues. Petrol attendants are accused of favoring black market sellers due to incentives, as evidenced by customers like a woman buying multiple jerry cans at filling stations.

Some stations like Total Energies in FESTAC enforce a no-keg policy, causing frustration among customers reliant on generators amidst erratic power supply. Private filling stations exploit the shortage by hiking prices to around N850 per liter, particularly when major dealers face supply constraints.


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