Petrol Shortages Resurface in Abuja and Surrounding States Amid Depot Price Hike


Fresh petrol queues emerged in Abuja and parts of Niger and Nasarawa States on Friday following the closure of numerous filling stations operated by independent marketers. The closures resulted from a hike in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to N710 per litre by private depot owners.

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Motorists flocked to the few stations still dispensing petrol, primarily those operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and major oil marketers, leading to significant queues at locations such as the NNPC mega station on the Gwarimpa axis of the Zuba-Kubwa Expressway, Conoil and Total stations opposite the NNPC headquarters in Abuja, and Salbas station at the Dei-Dei end of the Zuba-Kubwa expressway.

Independent oil marketers, who own over 70% of the country’s filling stations, attributed the situation to the increased ex-depot price set by private depot owners. Abubakar Maigandi, National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), explained that private depot owners raised the ex-depot price of PMS to N710 per litre, while the pump price at NNPC retail stations remained N617 per litre.

“The current situation is a result of how the private depot owners have been selling their products. It has been very difficult for independent petroleum marketers to get the product and sell it in Abuja and neighbouring states, as well as in other states in the North,” Maigandi said. He emphasized that the high purchase price from private depots, combined with additional transportation costs, made it impossible for independent marketers to compete with the lower prices at NNPC stations.

Maigandi also noted that the widespread presence of IPMAN-operated stations meant that any supply disruption would result in noticeable fuel queues, given the relatively fewer stations operated by major marketers and NNPC. While IPMAN has been negotiating with NNPC for direct supply allocations, the quantities received so far have been insufficient to meet the demand of their extensive network of retail outlets.

“In Abuja alone, we have over 250 retail outlets belonging to IPMAN members. This is just for Abuja. We have not talked about Niger, Kaduna, and other states in the North, not to mention the number nationwide,” Maigandi said.

He added that the queues were less pronounced in remote villages but were significant in city centres where NNPC stations offered much lower prices.

Despite the current market challenges, Maigandi insisted that petrol was not scarce, citing ample volumes imported by NNPC. “There is no scarcity. There is the product. The queues are caused basically by the market challenge, as I have explained. But as soon as we get products from NNPC or at fairly good prices, we will dispense, and the queues will vanish,” he stated.

Officials at the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources confirmed the availability of sufficient petrol in the country and emphasized that the market had been deregulated, allowing dealers to set prices based on demand and supply. An official at NNPC also assured motorists that the queues would dissipate quickly, given the company’s adequate in-country product reserves.

Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpeji has over 20 years experience in journalism and he is Naija247news Taraba Correspondent. He lives and works from Jalingo, the state capital.

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