From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos and Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
As long queues return to most filling stations in Lagos, premium motor spirit, PMS popularly called petrol, is now sold at N100 per litre, against the government regulated price of N97 per litre.
The price hike began Monday night when filling stations in Lagos metropolis declined selling the product.
Similarly, Makurdi, Benue state and its environs are experiencing fuel scarcity as long queues have resurfaced at most of the filling stations.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that most of the petrol stations have closed down while some deliberately refused to sell to motorists on claims that they do not have products.
It is also observed that most of them who hoard the fuel later sell secretly to black marketers at night time.
Various filling stations visited by our correspondent in Ogba, Victoria Island, Ikeja and Yaba, it was observed that the product was last supplied last Friday which has been sold out at the weekend, which forced them to start selling their reserve stock.
An attendant who does not want her name in print said, “ we had a direction to stop selling the product last night, though we have few product in stock but when the crowd came this morning (Tuesday) we were told to sell at 100 per litre”
Another station manager said the product has not been supplied in last few days saying it is the reason some stations are hoarding the product to sell at a higher price when the scarcity become intense.
Motorists however warned that the situation may become worse in the coming days if the product is not distributed as soon as possible.
Attempt to reach chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Folorunsho Ogini, was not successful as his phone line was not reachable.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, had, however, denied speculation of scarcity of the product days ago saying it had enough quantity to last Nigeria for months.
Special Adviser to Governor Gabriel Suswam on Public Utilities in a telephone interview with our correspondent said his office has stepped up monitoring activities to ensure that the independent marketers do not hoard the product, warning that any filling station caught doing so will be closed down.