Petrol supply to filling stations in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan, Kogi and some parts of the country has improved just as queues which persisted last week are abating, according a Persecondnews investigations.
Mopping up of adulterated petrol (off-spec fuel) imported three weeks by some importers had resulted in scarcity of the commodity while some vehicle engines were also damaged.
The speedy intervention by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd to flood the markets with about 300 million litres of clean fuel is bringing the situation under control.
However, the supply chain had already been affected, causing long queues in Lagos and Abuja as filling stations shut down to clean up their tanks.
A crude oil or refined product cargo is off spec if it does not satisfy the quality requirements set by contract or regulation. Off-spec cargoes or batches of product must be brought back on spec, typically through adding a high-quality blend stock.
Persecondnews learnt that security agencies have swung into action by probing companies and individuals allegedly involved in the importation of toxic fuel into the country.
In Lagos, the commodity is available in virtually most of the stations with the queues thinning out. In suburbs of the metropolis like Ikotun, Egbe, Ojota, Apapa and Yaba, the chaotic situation had disappeared.
Motorists believed that some stations had fuel but were not selling to create artificial scarcity to extort them.
Also, at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), majority of the stations especially the NNPC outlets were seen dispensing the product while the notorious , ubiquitous and hustling black marketeers are fizzling out.
For instance, at NNPC stations petrol was being sold to motorists with not too-long queues while the roads experienced heavy vehicular traffic, an indication that they had got the commodity.
In Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, a visit by Persecondnews correspondent revealed that the queues have disappeared from the filling stations as few vehicles of about six and seven were seen taking their turns to be served fuel devoid of the usual hustle and bustle.
Even in the remotest area of the ancient city such as Ojo and Moniya where the gigantic, state-of-the art Obafemi Awolowo train station is located for the boarding and alighting of passengers for the Ibadan-Abeokuta-Lagos standard gauge, motorists drive in and out of the stations with ease to buy petrol.
People who were armed with jerry cans and commercial motorcyclists were also orderly awaiting to be served fuel.
The same situation was observed at the University of Ibadan-Sango highway, Bodija, Dugbe, Apata, and Challenge areas.
Reports from Kogi said fuel attendants in Lokoja on Saturday demanded bribe from motorists and other users before selling the product at exorbitant price.
Some filling stations visited on 500 unit Road up to Ganaja village and Ganaja junction locked their gates even though they had fuel.
The attendants at few stations that had the product capitalised on the scarcity to demand for N200 bribe and above from motorists, depending on the quantity before selling at N250 and above per litre instead of the official pump price of N165 per litre.
Mr Richard Olanrewaju, one of the victims, said he needed to take his expectant wife to the hospital for delivery and was forced to bribe his way into the station.
In Ogun State, normalcy is gradually returning as petrol is available on daily basis in Ijebu, Abeokuta, the capital and Yewa areas. At Ijebu-Ode, motorists spent few minutes to get the commodity while in Sagamu only few stations were selling, resulting in long queues.
In Abeokuta, at least five stations located at Ibara, Ita-Eko, Navy Secondary School road and the NNPC mega station near Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library sold petrol on Sunday, February 20 simultaneously thereby reducing the queues to a manageable sizes of about 15 vehicles amid orderliness.
Persecondnews, however, gathered that the filling stations sold fuel for between N180 and N200 while in some, the attendants extorted motorists by collecting N200 and N500 at the gates from people who wanted to buy petrol in jerry cans.
A check at the motor parks shows that they were the usual bustlingly busy areas with vehicles – cars and buses – loading and setting out on their journeys as passengers strolled in.
Some of the managers of the stations that currently have no fuel told Persecondnews that they were expecting their consignments by tomorrow Monday or Tuesday or during the week.
They expressed the hope that the fuel will be available at most filling stations before the end of the week as promised by the Group Managing Director, Malam Mele Kyari.
“I sold petrol last week and for now I have run out of stock. I’m expecting our tanker this week,’’ said Mr Joseph Oluwatobi.