Our correspondents observed that motorists were in long queues in the Federal Capital Territory, especially along the Abuja-Zuba Expressway and Airport Road. There were also queues at filling stations around the Central Area District, Abuja, on Friday.
The ultimatum was part of the resolutions made by the upper chamber of the National Assembly following the adoption of a report by the Senate and House of Representatives’ Joint Committee on Petroleum Resources, based on a closed-door meeting between the committee and the NNPC management.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Senator Kabiru Marafa, had also briefed senators on the outcome of the meeting, blaming the lingering scarcity on sabotage, racketeering, and diversion. The lawmakers had resolved to “direct NNPC to ensure the adequate supply of PMS and disappearance of queues nationwide within seven days.”
Other resolutions were to “direct all security agencies to ensure effective border control measures to avoid the smuggling of petroleum products; and direct the Department of Petroleum Resources to double their efforts in enforcing price control and monitoring.”
However, hundreds of motorists spent several hours in queues waiting to purchase fuel, while black marketeers sold the commodity in kegs on major roads in Abuja showcasing their wares. The product sold for as high as N300 per liter and the black marketeers enjoyed high patronage on Friday.
In the FCT city center, the queues in front of the two filling stations, Total and Conoil, located opposite the corporate headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, were massive. The queues led to vehicular traffic on the Herbert Macaulay way where Total and Conoil filling stations were located.
The two NNPC mega stations located almost opposite each other on both lanes of the Kubwa-Zuba expressway in Abuja had queues that were severe on Friday. The queues in front of the NNPC outlets stretched about to about 2kilometers each on the two sides of the road and motorists groaned and sighed “It is now becoming normal to spend hours in fuel queues in Abuja. This is annoying, an act of wickedness by the government and most unfortunate for Nigerians,” Ibrahim Babatope, a motorist in one of the queues at the NNPC station in Kubwa, said.
It was also observed that in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, the queues for petrol persisted, while the same situation played out in parts of Niger and Kaduna states.