On Monday, in Abuja, several filling stations on Kubwa Road had run out of their petrol stocks. A long vehicular queue was also observed at the NNPC filling station on the road around Gwarinpa. Also, our reporter sighted a long queue at the AP Filling Station on Ahmadu Bello Way, Wuse, with motorists spending at least 30 minutes in the queue before buying fuel at the station. Furthermore, the ubiquitous black marketeers were seen making brisk business as they sold petrol in jerry cans to desperate motorists.
Although the NNPC assured Nigerians recently that it had enough stock of petrol to satisfy demand during yuletide, the cause of the current shortage could not be ascertained as of press time. However, an industry analyst, who asked not to be named, blamed the scarcity on supply glitches. It is always usual for motorists to experience scarcity during yuletide as demand usually rises during the period. Nigeria currently imports virtually all its petrol needs and the government pays billions of naira on a daily basis to subsidise the retail price. The Federal Government recently unfolded its plan to remove the petrol subsidy by the end of the first half of 2022.
Nigeria has four refineries, with a total refining capacity of 445,000 barrels per day but with none of them producing a litre of petrol for now. The richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, is currently building a 650,000 barrels per day refinery in Lekki, Lagos State, that is expected to help wean off Nigeria from fuel importation when it starts operations.