From Uche Usim, Abuja
The petrol scarcity crisis in Abuja worsened on Wednesday with more petrol stations running out of stock yet not restocking.
The few that dispensed the vital commodity had very long queues snaking several metres.
Black marketers took advantage of the nightmare to sell petrol at N350/litre to motorists not willing to be detained for a long time in queues.
Worrisomely, relevant government agencies like the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) have kept mum over the terrible development.
Specifically, the NNPC distanced itself from the scarcity horror, while the Vice President of Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Abubakar Maigandi, blamed the queues on scarcity of petrol at depots owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), a development that forced private depot owners to jack up the price from N148/litre to between N170-175/litre.
Maigandi also fingered bad roads as one of the reasons dissuading oil marketers from loading products at Lagos depots, as it takes several days to transport the commodity to Abuja and northern parts of the country; thus ballooning operational cost.
On Wednesday, many commuters were stranded, just as transporters hiked their fares to reflect the harsh reality.