The fuel scarcity that resurfaced in Abuja on February 27 is biting harder on the residents as motorists queue for hours and pass nights at filling stations in search of petrol.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that many commuters were stranded at different bus stops due to lack of vehicles.
The few vehicles that were plying the road jerked up their fares by 50 per cent.
It was observed that most of the filling stations in the Abuja metropolis were not selling, except few that rationed the sales from one or two pumps.
Although their pump prices remained N87 per litre, black market operators had a field day on the commuters as they sold between N120 and N200 per litre, depending on bargain power.
At the NNPC mega fill station on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Central Area, long queues of vehicles were on three lanes blocking the entire road and forcing motorists to drive against the traffic.
The chaotic situation was also the same at the Forte Oil, adjacent to the NNPC mega station, where the queue stretched to the UAC fence.
The ConOil and Total filling stations opposite NNPC Headquarters delayed selling until afternoon, with the queues by hundreds of motorists who had passed the previous nights, forming circles.
The circles stretched from the stations through the Bureau of Statistics Complex, to the Unity Bank building and back to NNPC towers.
Motorists went through hectic time under the scorching sun, trying to buy the commodity until relief finally came their way when four trucks loaded with the product were received at noon by ConOil in particular.
It was observed that Mobil filling station, NNPC franchised station and another private filling stations on Olusegun Obasanjo Way, were not selling while also most of the filling stations on Obafemi Awolowo Way were dried.
The situation was not different with most filling stations along Airport road, AYA, Maraba, Kubwa, Suleja and other neighbouring towns.
Although their pump prices remained N87 per litre, black market operators sold to motorists between N120 and N200 per litre, depending on the bargaining power.
The black marketers, who cashed in on the situation to sell at prohibited rates to motorists, said they also bought at exorbitant price from motorcyclists or filling stations in the night.
Most of the motorists said they had to sleep at filling stations before they could get fuel to buy.
A civil servant, who simply called his name as Mr. Mohammed, said all efforts to get fuel over the weekend proved abortive as most of them refused to sell.
Mohammed said he had to wake up very early in the morning before he could manage to get fuel into his car.
Another motorist, Olamikan Gabriel, said he had been moving from one filling station to the other without any result.
Gabriel said: “Early this morning, I was at the National Assembly but I could not get.
“I left there and went to another station around Wuse and its the same story.
“See me here at Total filling station again.
“The unfortunate thing is that there is no hope of getting fuel here.
“You can see the queue.
“They have even closed their gate.”
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, however, said the queues were artificially induced.
The Group General Manager NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha, said that the corporation had embarked on the plans to clear the queue within shortest period of time.
The GMD said the corporation had already increased substantially, the volume of petroleum products distributed to marketers.
Dawha said the NNPC had on Friday injected additional 688 million litres of premium motor spirit into the market.
According to him, this is to arrest any short fall that may have been triggered by the unnecessary fears of an imminent scarcity of products.
He therefore called on members of the public not to engage in panic purchase and hoarding of petroleum products.