From Uche Usim, Abuja
Abuja residents are currently facing another agonising episode of petrol scarcity following a disruption in the loading and distribution network of the commodity.
From Kubwa to Kuje and the metropolis, queues stretch over 20 metres.
A good number of the filling stations are out of stock, while those who had petrol are swamped with scores of vehicles.
The nightmare comes barely 24 hours after the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, ruled out any petrol price hike.
Checks by Daily Sun reveal that the problem arose from the planned strike by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) division of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) that was to commence on Monday, April 19.
However, the swift intervention of Mr Kyari on Monday encouraged PTD to shelve the strike.
There was however no loading and distribution of products, a development that left many filling stations bare.
In a telephone interview with Daily Sun, Mr Abubakar Maigandi, National Vice President of IPMAN, assured that normalcy would return before the week runs out.
There was no loading and distribution of products yesterday because of the PTD strike. But now that it has been called off, loading and discharging is ongoing today being Tuesday.
‘Some stations are out of stock. That is what is causing the queues you’re seeing. But normalcy would return before the end of this week,’ he stated.
NNPC has maintained an ex-depot price of N148/litre since February despite the hike in the actual cost of the commodity, hence incurring subsidy of over N120 billion monthly.
Ex-depot price is the cost of petrol at depots, from where filling stations purchase the commodity before dispensing to final consumers.
NNPC is the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria for more than three years now.