Kaduna, Nasarawa and Niger states as well as the Federal Capital Territory have been experiencing persistent petrol scarcity since last year, while it was gathered on Monday that the queues for PMS had started spreading to other states in the North.
Some consumers of the commodity told our correspondent that queues were seen in front of filling stations that sell the product at the regulated price of N145 per litre in Kano State.
It was observed that some petrol stations, particularly those in satellite towns in Nasarawa and Niger states, dispensed the commodity at rates that were far higher than the official N145/litre.
In Abuja, it is gradually becoming normal to see long queues in front of the few outlets that dispense petrol, as hundreds of desperate motorists queued in different filling stations for several hours on Monday in order to be served PMS.
This is coming as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation announced that a petrol station manager has been arrested by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps for diverting 26,000 litres of PMS from New Nyanya to another location in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
According to a statement issued by the NNPC in Abuja on Monday, a chief superintendent of the corps, Yusuf Ayinde, stated that the manager at Lamido Petroleum, New Nyanya, Nasarawa State, Mr. Kasim Lamido, took delivery of 40,000 litres of petrol meant for his station.
But the marketer, according to the oil firm, only discharged 13,000 litres from one out of the three compartments in the truck and diverted the remaining 26,000 litres to a station in Akwanga where it would be sold at a higher price.
The statement reads in part “The suspect will be charged to court by the civil defence corps after ongoing investigation.
“The latest arrest validates NNPC’s position that the activities of a potent petroleum products’ smuggling and diversion syndicate contributed immensely to the shortage being experienced in some cities and which posed a challenge to the efforts by the corporation to sanitise the fuel supply and distribution chain across the country.”
The corporation urged motorists not to engage in panic buying as it was working in collaboration with major stakeholders to eliminate the distribution hiccups that had led to the emergence of fuel queues in some parts of the country.