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Fuel scarcity hits Lagos, environs as marketers close stations



Lagos and its surrounding areas are on the brink of a significant fuel shortage. Filling stations are closing their doors to motorists and other fuel consumers, creating a growing concern.

A recent report from Vanguard has highlighted that this closure of fuel stations began gradually, triggered by NNPC Limited’s decision to reduce its fuel imports. This move was aimed at encouraging both major and independent fuel marketers to take part in the importation process, following the market’s deregulation.

As per the report, the situation has escalated because many marketers are struggling to import fuel. The primary reasons behind this struggle include challenges in sourcing foreign exchange and the unpredictable nature of the domestic market.

An anonymous marketer expressed their concerns, stating, “The reduction in NNPC Limited’s imports, meant to encourage marketers to engage in importation, coupled with our difficulties in doing so, has created a significant gap that urgently requires attention.”

“The situation could have been very serious if many people were still buying the product.

“But the shortage is currently mild because many automobile owners are not driving frequently or have completely abandoned driving because of the high cost of petrol currently going for between N568 per litre and N590.”

Reacting, the National President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chinedu Okoronkwo, said, “We are still loading.”

However, it was doubtful if all the products lifted at the depots were delivered to the filling stations, as Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority officials were not visible to enforce compliance.