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PMS: Lagos Motorists Groan As Black Marketers Make Brisk Business

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Black marketers on Wednesday took advantage of the lingering scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to make brisk business from residents and motorists in Lagos State.

African Examiner reports that the ongoing scarcity of PMS, also known as petrol, is due to the withdrawal of the off-spec products imported into the country from the market.

A  correspondent who monitored the situation at Oshodi, Ojota, Ikeja, Mushin, Surulere, Iyana-Ipaja, Abule Egba and Lekki observed that many filling stations were still not selling petrol.

Long queues were seen at the few stations selling, with both private and commercial motorists as well residents besieging them as early as 5a.m.

The vehicular queues led to traffic gridlock on some major roads across the state, especially on the Lekki-Epe axis.

Black marketers with various sizes of kegs were seen hawking petrol within a few meters of the filling stations.

Their operations were noticeable in areas such as Ikorodu Road, Mushin, Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way and Surulere.

Some of the marketers were selling a litre of fuel for prices between N180 to N250 per litre depending on the location, demand and negotiating skills of the buyer.

A commercial bus driver, Mr Wasiu Oyeleke, stated that he bought 10 litres of PMS for N2,000.

“Yesterday, I could not get fuel after I closed for the day and none of the stations in my area is selling.

“I managed to buy from these boys (black marketers) in Mushin which I am using now,” he said.

Another commercial bus driver, Mr Emma Udoh, disclosed he was offered 20 litres of fuel for N3,600 by one of the black marketers but he refused.

He said: “I remember my last experience in their hands when I bought fuel from them and nearly destroyed my car.

“I have been here for almost three hours and will wait until I am able to get fuel but it is very frustrating for all of us.

A tailor, Mr Anu Ayorinde, said operators of small businesses were also suffering from the petrol scarcity due to epileptic power supply by the electricity Distribution Companies.

Ayorinde said they had to get fuel from the black market for their generators, rather than wait on the queue for hours and be unable to deliver jobs on time for their customers.

African Examiner reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd. had in a statement issued on Tuesday said it had put measures in place to accelerate nationwide distribution of PMS.

The NNPC said the distribution was disrupted by the quarantine of methanol blended petrol.

The company said it had begun 24-hour operations at its depots and retail outlets, adding that it had over one billion litres of certified PMS stock that was safe for use in vehicles and machineries.


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