By Adewale Sanyaolu
The current acute scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol to the domestic market appears to have taken a worst turn yesterday as more filling stations recorded zero product supplies.
Some stakeholders who spoke to Daily Sun said the development may not be unconnected to the zero injection of fuel to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) depots in Ejigbo, in Lagos, Ore in Ondo and Aba in Abia State.
Majority of the filling stations on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Abule-Egba and Ogba were totally out of stock as at the time of filling this story.
As at then also, only the NNPC filling station on College Road Ogba and Iju Road were dispensing fuel.
This was as Mobil filling station on Charity Road and NIPCO station at Casso bus stop on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway equally sold to long queues of vehicles and jerry can bearing customers.
This was as more motorists and commuters continued to lament the adverse effect of the current fuel scarcity on their businessess with more man-hours lost to the non-availability.They argued that the longer hours spent at filling station have continued to drain their health and meager resources.
On the other hand, commercial vehicle operators are equally not spared the harsh realities of the gasoline shortages having raised their cost of transportation to compensate for the long hours spent on fuel queues.
For instance, a ride from Council bus stop to Iyana Ipaja, which hitherto cost N200 is now N300, while similar trip from Oko-Afo in Badagry has moved from N300 to N400.
Speaking to Daily Sun in a telephone chat, Zonal Chairman, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) South-West, Mr. Dele Tajudeen, lamented that none of the five NNPC depots under IPMAN South-West which are located in Ibadan, Mosimi, Ore, Ilorin, and Lagos satellite depot in Ejigbo.none of the depots has products at the moment. He however expressed optimism on the possibility of Mosimi commencing product loading by yesterday (Thursday).
He added that that there are about 11 depots in Abule-Ado in Lagos with none loading product as at yesterday(Thursday) morning, saying information reaching him has it that about three of the depots are receiving product.In Apapa, he said only NIPCO and Aiteo are loading, saying the loading from NIPCO depot are just for NNPC retail outlets only and NIPCO dealer stations with Pinnacle in Lekki, also loading.
‘‘So if you look at the loading pattern, you will discover that it is grossly inadequate. Though the PPMC MD has said they have a lot of cargoes offshore. But the reality is that not until when they start discharging and loading tankers for onward movement to filling stations, that is when we can claim product availability,’’.
According to Tajudeen, Ore depot has not loading a litre of fuel in the last 15 years while Ilorin loaded last about four months ago ditto for Ibadan, Mosimi and Ejigbo who are all without products to dispense.