Fuel queues resurface in Abuja as CSOs seek full deregulation

Fuel queues seem to be gathering up in most filling stations within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ahead of the increase in pump price.

The queues which started Friday night have since increased, while most filling stations sell between N162-N163 per litre.

As of Friday night and Saturday, queues were observed at Oando filling station, Zone 4; Conoil, Wuse; Eternal Wuse 2, A.A rano Jabi, Mobile, Lokogoma; NNPC, Major oil Jabi; Optima Energy Jabi, among others.

“Infact, I don’t understand what is going on, I bought fuel but it is scarce,” says a motorist who spoke with Tribune Online. At NNPC, the queues are very long.”

This is coming weeks after the landing cost of petroleum product rose from N151 to N180 per litre,due to the  rising price of crude oil in the international market.

As a result, Marketers had stated that the pump price may now rise from the current N162 to about N190/litre considering the landing cost.

Meanwhile, Civil society groups under the aegis of Coalition of Nigerian Civil Society Organizations for Petroleum and Energy Security, have called for total deregulation of the downstream sector.

They said this will allow market forces to determine the pump price of petrol and other petroleum products in the country.

The group’s convener, Timothy Ademola stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja on Saturday.

He opined that deregulation will not only attract investments but would further liberalize the sector.

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His words: “The deregulation of petroleum downstream is supposed to bring about some sort of liberalization of the sector which would make it possible for all petroleum products marketers to source their products from anywhere and sell at any price dictated by prevailing market forces.

“The competition arising from that would have helped to force pump prices down to the benefit of the citizens. 

“But the scarcity of foreign exchange has made it difficult for the marketers to import products, thereby making NNPC the sole importer in keeping with its statutory role as a marketer of last resort”.

He noted that since that is no provision in the 2021 budget for a subsidy, allowing NNPC to continue to bear the cost of subsidy would mean a return to fuel scarcity and queues across the country.

“If this happens, organized labour that is presently resisting deregulation would be forced to castigate NNPC for not supplying enough fuel to guarantee zero fuel queues and for not making a profit at the end of its financial year.

“Truly, the situation calls for a new and bold approach. We suggest that Labour should not just constitute downright opposition to Deregulation but partner with the Government on how to best achieve patriotic, people-centred Deregulation; leveraging the new Government policy for the soon resumption of Nigerian Refineries, the approval of Modular Refineries and the welcome development of Dangote Mega Refinery,” he added.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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