The queues for Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol in Abuja and neighbouring states of Nasarawa and Niger, have continued to grow worse daily.
But the Federal Government on Thursday said it had increased the number of PMS trucks supplying products to the Federal Capital Territory to 180 per day in a bid to end the queues.
Many fillings stations in Abuja and the environs are not dispensing petrol. The few outlets that dispense the commodity are greeted with massive queues. Black marketers now sell PMS at between N300 to N400/litre.
Reacting to this on Wednesday, the Federal Government through its Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority said it had directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited to increase fuel supply to Abuja and its environs.
The Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Ogbugo Ukoha, who stated this, explained that while the flood in Lokoja was responsible for the queues, the NNPC was now offloading PMS into barges in Calabar for trucks to come into Abuja through Ogoja and Benue route.
He said, “The flood in Lokoja has put a lot of pressure on Abuja. Ordinarily, Abuja requires 70 trucks to ensure the city is wet. But in the last few weeks, this has been very difficult. We have now decided to increase the number to 180 and 200 trucks daily to supply Abuja and its environs.
“The NNPC is also discharging PMS into barges in Calabar so that trucks can take the Benue route. We are optimistic that the new measures will ease the queues very soon.”
He added, “Let me appeal to marketers to desist from taking advantage of the shortfall in supply.”
Some marketers were, however, taking advantage of the scarcity to hike the pump price of petrol, for instance, an obscure filling station close to Kubwa Village Market in Abuja, dispensed the product at N285/litre on Wednesday.
This was despite threats by the Independent Petroleum Marketers of Nigeria to sanction dealers who sell the commodity at exorbitant rates.