Transportation grounded in Abuja as fuel scarcity worsens, commuters groan

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have lamented the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirits, PMS which has made movements within the city difficult.
Several commuters were stranded on Monday and Tuesday following the inability of vehicle owners to get the product.
Public transport operators alleged that fuel stations have refused to dispense products leading to long queues in filling stations.
The development has also led to a hike in transportation fare, worsening the already dire cost of living in the FCT and the poor economic reality of the country.
Taxi drivers who were able to get the fuel from the black market have doubled their fares.
Dutse-Alhaji to Berger roundabout which was N200 to N250 is now almost N400.
It was gathered that many civil servants, particularly those who come to town through the Kubwa-Area 1 express road were unable to get to their offices on Tuesday morning as vehicles queued up in many fuel stations.
One of the stranded civil servants, Anthony Onyendu who spoke to newsmen, expressed anger at the development, stressing that the scarcity is artificial and politically triggered.

“There is no fuel scarcity anywhere in the country. What we are seeing here is the handwork of greedy Nigerians who take pleasure in seeing others suffer.
“If you notice, they started stocking fuel in Abuja since December last year waiting for the subsidy to be removed so that they will sell at N360 per litre instead of the N165.
“We are the problem of this country. We just have to stop blaming the government and stop taking advantage of others, Nigerians are the problems of Nigeria.
“Most of these filling stations are owned by politicians and you know, it is almost campaign time. They want to suffer Nigerians just to frustrate a government”.
Another respondent, Miss Jane lamented said “despite waking up 5am to reach my office at most, by 8am, here I am still looking for a vehicle, it is already 8:30. As it is, I don’t know when I will be leaving here”.
A taxi driver, Mr Jonathan alleged that he bribes managers to get fuel every day. “We give them money before we get fuel. Even the black market boys, that is what they do. We go there either late in the night or early in the morning to fill our tanks”, he added.
Managers of some of the fuel stations visited, declined to speak with neewsmen while some were completely locked, as security guards claimed there was no fuel.

Recall that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Abuja Zonal Office had said the artificial fuel scarcity experienced in the FCT was in anticipation of subsidy removal which resorted to panic buying.
Mrs Roselyn Wilkie, Zonal Operations Controller, in an interview with newsmen, said the authority has intensified surveillance during the period to prevent hoarding, sharp practices and to ensure that fuel stations with products utilise a maximum number of pumps linked to their storage tanks.


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