The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, who spoke to journalists on the current fuel scarcity in the nation’s capital that has led to long vehicle queues at the filling stations, blamed the development on the recent Sallah holiday.
The PUNCH had reported that fuel queues persisted in the FCT on Monday as filling stations struggled to control desperate drivers waiting to buy the Premium Motor Spirit at the official price.
Racketeers had a field day, selling a litre of PMS at N300 in different parts of the FCT.
In Kubwa, a litre of fuel went as high as N320, rising to N400 in Asokoro and other prime parts of Abuja, The PUNCH gathered.
One of the racketeers, who identified himself as Usman, said he stored fuel in several gallons, with the belief that fuel would be scarce at some point in the future.
Speaking at the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday, Kyari said, “First of all, during the holiday, truck drivers could not present trucks at most of the depots and because of that we had some glitches around load-out from the depots. We have corrected this.
“All truck load-outs are at their maximum today. We believe that this is a very temporary thing. And with over 150 trucks coming into Abuja today and another 150 coming into Abuja tomorrow, it will soon go away.”
The GMD added, “When you have a glitch like this, people panic. Panic-buying means people buy more than what they need. Typically, that is what causes the queues at the fuel stations. Instead of buying N10,000 fuel, people end up buying N20,000 fuel and that is what causes the delay. It is a psychological thing. We have done everything possible to make sure people don’t stay too long in the fuel stations. We know this will soon vanish.”
On the black marketers who are making brisk business by selling the commodity at N350 per litre, as against the official pump price of N165, Kyari said, “The relevant authorities are taking steps to ensure that no one does this. But we also know that there is a supply issue. Once the supply is maximised, no one will see these jerry cans.”