By Yetunde Bada
Fairly long queues for petrol resurfaced in filling stations on Tuesday in Abuja, in spite of assurances by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to Nigerians of adequate fuel supply in all parts of the country.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) survey around the federal capital showed that the queues resurfaced early in the morning at a few stations, especially in the central area.
A drive around the metropolis showed that some of the fuel stations, which hitherto had idle pump attendants, now had queues to attend to.
Speaking to NAN, a civil servant, Hannah Mshelia, said ”I was on my way to work this morning and I saw a little queue at the Conoil opposite NNPC towers.
”I decided to top-up my fuel because you don’t know what may happen later in the day.”
Msheila confirmed that though she had heard of abundant supplies at the depots from the news, she still had to buy ”just in case”.
The NNPC had assured motorists that there was enough fuel at depots to last the yuletide and beyond.
The NNPC Spokesperson, Mr Ndu Ughamadu in a statement, urged Nigerians to stop panic buying, reiterating that there was enough fuel in the nation’s depots.
”In a bid to salvage the fuel supply and distribution challenges witnessed in some parts of the country due to panic buying from motorists, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, cut short his trip to London.
”Dr Baru, who was billed to receive the Forbes Oil & Gas Man of the Year Award 2017 in the British Capital on Tuesday, flew back home to attend to what he described as a ‘matter of urgent national importance’.
”Speaking on the development shortly before his departure back to the country, he called on Nigerians to stop panic buying as the Corporation was doing everything within its reach to address the situation,” Ughamadu reported the NNPC boss as saying.
Ughamadu said before leaving for London, Baru had directed that more truckloads of petroleum products be dispatched to various parts of the country to cushion the effects of excessive demand caused by panic buying.
Earlier yesterday, NNPC informed Nigerians that there was no plan whatsoever to increase the prices of petroleum products both at the ex-depot level and pump price ahead of the forthcoming yuletide.
The NNPC had said that the ex-depot petrol price of N133.38 per litre and the pump price of N143/N145 per litre had not changed, noting that the Corporation had enough stock of fuel to ensure seamless supply and distribution of products across the country.
It assured that the Corporation had the full commitment of all downstream stakeholders, including petroleum marketers and industry unions, to cooperate in achieving zero fuel scarcity this season and beyond.
”We enjoin motorists and other users of petroleum products to disregard trending rumours of an impending fuel price hike as reported in some news platforms,” Ughamadu said.