MOTORISTS in Lagos State are currently groaning under the harsh condition occasioned by scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, spreading across the state.
Investigation by the Nigerian Tribune revealed that most petrol stations are under lock and key, while the few operating ones are selling for between N110 and N120 per litre.
Some mega stations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were out of stock, while few with petrol were also selling at between N100 and N110 per litre.
The scarcity, according to the South-West chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Tokunbo Korodo, was due to the non-repair of damaged System 2B at Arepo pipeline.
He said scarcity in Lagos and other south-western states may persist until the vandalised pipeline was repaired.
Meanwhile, the controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Lagos, Mr Gbenga Koku, told the Nigerian Tribune on Tuesday that the long queues that resurfaced within Lagos metropolis may be attributed to panic buying, as Eid-el-Kabir approached.
He said the DPR had no mandate to ensure availability of petrol at stations, but to ensure they did not hoard products or sell at above recommended retail price.
When the Nigerian Tribune visited the Apapa depot, it was discovered that marketers were buying at a rate above the recommended depot price of N94.50k.
According to a source who preferred anonymity, the demand for refined products was greater than the available supplies.
In Kano, fuel scarcity across the state had forced many petrol stations to adjust pump price to N130 per litre.
This was just as the price of four litres of fuel at black market sold for between N700 and N750.
Investigation conducted by the Nigerian Tribune indicated that as a result of the scarcity, transport fare had also increased.
Most petrol stations in the state capital were under lock and key, while petrol attendant had gone on casual leave.
Calls put to NNPC spokesman, Mr Fidel Pepple, were not answered as of press time.