Filling stations, particularly those in some satellite towns of Abuja dispensed petrol at rates higher than the approved N165/litre price on Wednesday, as queues in the Federal Capital Territory gradually reduced.
Thousands of commuters had been left stranded for hours at various bus stops in Abuja and neighbouring states of Nasarawa and Niger on Tuesday following widespread petrol scarcity that hit the areas on Tuesday.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigeria’s sole importer of petrol, had to intervene by releasing over a thousand trucks of petrol to help ameliorate the situation.
The petrol supply situation improved on Wednesday as the scarcity dropped, leading to a reduction in the number of motorists queueing at filling stations.
It was, however, observed that while filling stations in the city centre and those along major expressways in Abuja dispensed petrol at the regulated price, their counterparts in remote locations in satellite towns sold the commodity at higher rates.
An unnamed filling station on the Village Market Road in Kubwa, a popular suburb in Abuja, dispensed petrol at N175/litre on Wednesday afternoon.
Attendants at the outlet stated that it was still not certain that petrol price would not be hiked in May despite the assurance given by NNPC.
“This is the price for now; you can’t be sure that the price will still be the same next month,” one of the attendants who refused to give his name said.
The National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Chinedu Ukadike, also stated that the price of petrol might change regardless of the assurance of NNPC.
“Marketers are still of the view that petrol price might change and that is one of the reasons why you noticed queues in many filling stations,” he said.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mele Kyari, had announced on Monday that the corporation would retain the ex-depot price of petrol at about N148/litre rate in May, meaning that there would be no increase beyond the N165/litre pump price in May.
The NNPC had tweeted on Monday that “the GMD announced that there would be no increase in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (popularly called petrol) in the month of May 2021.”
On the increase in petrol supply, the NNPC announced that it increased the daily supply of petrol from 550 trucks to 1,661 trucks to cushion the massive and widespread scarcity of petrol in Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger states.
The Managing Director, Petroleum Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of NNPC, Musa Lawan, said there were about two billion litres of petrol in strategic depots to keep the nation well supplied for two months if no drop of fuel was imported in that period.