*It is Artificial Scarcity – APC
By Ezeocha Nzeh
Spiraling fuel scarcity which gradually crept into the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Sunday evening, is yet to abate as at press time.
Our correspondents observed that black market operators, with active connivance with petroleum station managers, are milking citizens dry as they sell fuel through the black market at as much as N700 per liter.
The AUTHORITY observed that rather than sell fuel to vehicles on the queue, the fuel dealers create confusion by allowing people with jerry cans to be attended to, just as they create back-hand entrance to the filling stations on the payment of N1000, thus blocking off law-abiding citizens on the queue overnight or over a long a period of time.
Consequently, black market operators were found just at the precincts of the filling stations, including the ones directly in front of the headquarter complex of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Force headquarters in Abuja.
All through the city, long queue of vehicles were observed with majority of the drivers reporting that they were on the queue since the previous day.
It was also observed that only the NNPC accredited filling stations were majorly dispensing fuel, while majority of the filling stations which either belong the Major or Independent Marketers, had no fuel to dispense, as at press time.
Meanwhile, the NNPC have described the development as panic buying, assuring that there was no fuel scarcity, as they have enough stock to last for weeks.
On its part, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has blamed the toughening scarcity and indiscriminate hike in petroleum pump price to artificial scarcity and panic buying
The APC in a statement issued Tuesday by the National Secretariat of its Caretaker Committee, Sen. John Akpan Udoedehe said it is in touch with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva and the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari over the fuel queues.
“It is an artificial fuel scarcity. We have recieved assurances from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and NNPC GMD that there is more than enough petrol to last the country for 40 days. There is no need for panic buying and we urge petroleum filling stations to resist the urge to hoard products and illegally hike prices.” the APC said in the statement .