By Ameh Anyebe Oduh
Fuel queues have resurfaced in parts of Abuja, Nigeria‘s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) late Saturday evening as most Petrol stations remained shut while some independent marketers have had their filling stations shut earlier than usual in the last three days.
The immediate cause of this development is however unknown at press time. But speculations are rife of an imminent increase in pump price of petrol to over 200 Naira per Litre following the sharp rise in Global Crude Index.
The Street Reporters Newspaper reports the the few petrol stations open to the public for dispensing fuel were seen experiencing what can be termed as panic buying, with buyers filling their tanks and storing in Jerry cans, while the ubiquitous ‘Black Marketers’ are crawling out to make speedy sales.
This is coming on the heels of a recent threat by the Major Oil Marketers who insist that Handling, import and other associated cost for bringing in Products would make it impossible to sustain the current Price regime, a possible explanation for the current mild fuel scarcity noticeable in the FCT.
The oil marketers, which includes the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) raised the alarm recently while equally lamenting the scarcity of Forex to enable them import Products; this, they say has ensured that they all still depend on PPMC for the supply of most of the products.
The Oil majors maintained that the price of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, should be between N185 and N200 per litre, based on the current realities in the global crude oil market, unless the Federal Government wants to go back to subsidizing the product.
This disclosure is coming as the global oil price crosses $70 per barrel as OPEC and its allies pledge to continue to cut down on crude oil inventories and expected increase in global demand due to the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccine in some major economies.
Conversely, the latest scarcity of fuel may not be unassociated with this threat as Marketers are known to be able to hoard products or reduce their inventories to press home their demands.
In a similar report, the Minister of The Federal Capital Territory had enjoined motorist to obey traffic rules and regulations as well as maintain safe driving ethics on Abuja Roads.
He gave this charge while commissioning the Ministerial JOINT TASK FORCE ON ROAD SAFETY in Abuja yesterday.
The Task Force would include officers of The Road Safety Corp, Department of Road Transport Officers and Men of the Civil Defence Corps as well as the Nigeria Police.
Their core mandates would be to check reckless driving along the highways of Abuja and the enforcement of various Road Traffic Violations and Respect for Traffic lights.
He further called on motorist to desist from the habit of flouting Road signs /signals and attacking Traffic Officers.