Fourty-eight hours after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared that the fuel subsidy was no longer available, queues have resurfaced across the country, despite the fact that many filling stations are now closed.
This has happened right as black marketers have taken over the market and driven up the cost of petrol to over N700 per litre in some regions of the nation.
Tinubu had on Monday affirmed the decision of the immediate past administration to remove fuel subsidy, saying: “We commend the decision of the outgoing administration in phasing out the petrol subsidy regime, which has increasingly favoured the rich more than the poor.”
However, the statement immediately caused a shortage across the nation, with many petrol stations closing their doors to drivers.
On Tuesday, most gas stations in Lagos were closed, and the few that were still pumping had long lines of drivers waiting to fill up.
The change has caused a rise in transportation costs as drivers’ tolls have almost doubled.
One resident complained of spending N1, 500 from Iyana Ipaja to Arepo for a trip that should not cost more than N700.
Filling stations in some parts of Lagos metropolis now sell at between N500 and N600 along the Mile 2 – Badagry expressway.
The few filling stations belonging to the NNPC that sold their product for N180 per litre on Tuesday morning stopped selling around 9am.
For some major marketers who still had fuel, the prices remained N195 per litre even though there was a long queue at such filling stations.
Meanwhile, Most petrol stations in Abuja Tuesday didn’t sell premium motor spirit (PMS).
According to Daily Trust, in Kubwa, Kado and Jabi many filling stations had closed down. Queues were seen in the filling stations despite not dispensing.
Stephen Ojunta, a motorist wearing a long face, said: “Today, I have been to about six filling stations but I did not get fuel to buy. They are not even selling. I went to Shafa in Dutse, MRS in Dutse express, and Mainland also in Dutse. Filling stations in Kado and Jahi were also not selling.
In Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, the price skyrocketed to N700 from N230 as black marketers took over the supply of the products in the state capital.
A trader in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Mrs Azeezat Adeyemi told newsmen that she had left her car at home and took cabs following the fuel crisis.
Residents of Ilorin in Kwara State on Tuesday lamented the sudden decision of some oil marketers to shut their fuel stations.
One of them, Daniel, said they started experiencing queues in their area along Odota on Monday when some filling stations abruptly shut down for business.
In Bauchi, Sani Umar faulted the announcement of subsidy removal by President Tinubu without taking any tangible step to cushion the effects, particularly the attitude of petrol stations.