Long queues have returned to filling stations across the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
This is coming shortly after the Federal Government downplayed the possibilities of removing the subsidies on petroleum products.
Prior to the announcement by the Federal Government, there were no queues in filling stations around the federal capital city. However, the return of the queues has been linked to greed by filling station operators to make “last-minute gain”.
Recall that the Federal Government had on Monday said there wouldn’t be removal of fuel subsidy anytime soon.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said the subsidies on fuel would not be removed due to perceived difficulties associated with it.
Ahmed had said the Federal Government was initially looking at the removal of fuel subsidy from July this year, after making provisions in the 2022 budget to cushion the effect, but noted that the timing has become a huge challenge.
However, most of the filling stations located around the Lugbe area of Abuja were operating at minimal capacity as only a few pumping machines were working.
Speaking on this issue, a taxi driver, who was in search of fuel, said: “Information they got earlier was that the removal of subsidies will force them to increase fuel price, that is why they are hoarding the product. You know that when the demand is high without supply; the price will increase. The queue is because filling stations are now using fewer nozzles to dispense fuel. You notice that some filling stations with seven pumping machines have now restricted their operations to two; mind you, one pumping machine has two dispensing nozzles. So, instead of deploying all the nozzles, they limit them; this is responsible for the queues.
“Once they remove this subsidy, importers will be selling at their own price. The government needs to repair refineries and establish more to serve other parts of the country before removing subsidies; if it’s not done, this subsidy removal will not work.
“The mind of every businessman is to maximize profit and minimize cost, even if you are in their shoes, except God touches your heart or else, you will do the same thing. They just want to make an abnormal profit.
“The problem is that our leaders do not have our interest at heart and they are not willing to lose their investments. What they don’t know is that they will all die someday. If money could not save Yar’Adua or Abacha, then, what are we saying?” he queried.
Checks by DAILY POST have shown that motorists have now resorted to patronising black marketers, who sell a litre for as high as N200-N300.
Sunday Joshua, a journalist who is resident in Jikwoyi, said most filling stations around Karu, Jikwoyi, Kurudu down to Karshi are under lock and key.
“I just bought a litre at N300 from a black marketer around Jikwoyi. My brother, I need to get to work. There is no reason for all this. We are the ones making life difficult for ourselves. They hoard the products when they know people need it. This too will come to pass,” Joshua said.
Similarly, checks around Abuja City Centre showed that only a few filling stations were selling with long queues.
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