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Thursday, May 26, 2022

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Petrol queues resurface in Abuja, environs as NNPC keep mum

Long queues of vehicles seeking to procure Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol have resurfaced in Abuja and neighbouring states.

However, the authorities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited are not talking about the latest development which may disrupt economic activities if it spread across the country.

The long vehicle lines began to build on Saturday, and as of Sunday, the problem had worsened, as almost all private filling stations had no products. It was further noticed that while the NNPC mega stations were open for business, although, with queues stretching over a kilometre in many places, the outskirts of Abuja were hardest hit.

Earlier in the year, Nigerians were confronted with fuel supply disruptions, which began in Abuja, and then spread to  Lagos and other parts of the country after adulterated products went into circulation. The problem lasted until early April.

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When the issue continued to linger, it was learnt that the deficit in the supply of crude oil cargoes from NNPC through its Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme complicated matters.

Under the DSDP scheme, the oil company provides crude oil to its trading partners, who in turn supply the NNPC with refined products worth the volume of crude received from the national oil company.

Sources at the firm had said that the deficit of about 17 cargoes in the DSDP obligation due to low oil production was responsible for the prolonged disruption. It is not clear if the matter has reared its head again this time, as the authorities have failed to provide any clarifications.

In Abuja and surrounding states, most filling stations were shut and motorists spent hours in the sun struggling to buy from the few that were open. This caused a serious traffic gridlock in many parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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