The black market for fuel is thriving in some parts of Lagos now due to the biting scarcity. A survey around Lagos shows that the prices of fuel, either diesel or petrol, varies.
Against all odds some people still get to buy fuel at the normal price of N86.5. But it is not so for others who buy at exorbitant prices.
Across Lagos in most filling stations, the queue for fuel by motorists protruded to the Expressways. At Anthony, the queue at Oando filling station created a gridlock for motorists going to the Yaba axis.
At Mobil filling station, along Airport road, the queue caused heavy traffic on the road on Thursday.
One of the motorists on the queue, Amos Ogbonna, stated.that the queue was too long and wants the government to do something to reduce the hardship the common man is going through due to the scarcity of fuel.
“I have been here for over two hours. Without fuel I cannot do anything as an air conditioner repairer.”
One of the merchants selling fuel in the black market stated.that he sells five litres for N2,500.
One of the taxi drivers plying the NAHCO-International Airport route stated.that he has been buying fuel at the normal rate, but it has not been easy.
“I slept at the AP filling station close to Local Airport on Wednesday. This was because they stopped selling around 8:00pm and I had to sleep there and to buy fuel around 9:00am on Thursday. Yet, the petroleum attendant did not sell enough fuel to fill my tank for me. He only sold around N3,000 for me. So I am going there today, Thursday, to buy again. “
The Guardian learnt that there has been regular supply of fuel from Mobil depot in Apapa to all Mobil stations across the country.
“I don’t know the reasons for the scarcity. Tankers have been loading from Mobil depot to all Mobil stations in Lagos and across the country.”
At Conoil, Cele Bus Stop there was chaos at the filling station as petroleum attendants were selling fuel to people in kegs at N120 per litre.
The Guardian learnt that 5 litres gallon of petrol in the morning goes for N1,000; in the evening it was sold at N1,300 in the same filling station.
As stated by one commercial tricycle rider, Ben Yeri, the filling station has been selling fuel to only people coming to the station with jerry cans since last week.
“I will advice that the filling stations should stop selling fuel to people re-selling in the black market,” he stated.
One of the black market vendors at Cele Bus stop stated.that they now buy from the black market and sell in black market, too.
“We buy it at N150 per litre and sell at N200 per litre. We don’t buy at the filling station. We buy at the depot at Apapa. The government knows what to do. My fuel is safe for use.”
At ORXFIED Filling Station Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, diesel was selling for N129 per litre on Tuesday.
One of the commercial bus drivers said:
“Everybody knows the actual price of petrol but that of diesel has always been fluctuating. Some are selling at N130 per litre. Some are selling at N135. We don’t know the normal price for diesel.”
At Apapa Conoil Filling Station opposite Eleganza Plaza, The Guardian learnt that in the morning they sell petrol at N86.5 per litre.
One of their customers, Ololade Olawoyin stated.that he bought petrol for N86.5 per litre at the filling station in the morning.
“At MRS filling station in Sango Ota they sell at N100 per litre. What I heard is that the government wants to reduce the price of fuel so some people are hoarding it.”
He stated that the solution is for the government to make sure that fuel is available in every part of the country.
“The fuel is there at the depot but the problem we are having is that of distribution. Once there is supply the scarcity would end. It is the government that can normalize it. If the government can do what is expected of them, there will be fuel.”
At Ikotun Ijegun road, most of the filling stations were not selling. At Conoil, near Ijegun Bus stop, they were selling for N100 per litre.
Mr Bernard Kadri, a barber based in Ijegun-Ikotun stated.that the fuel scarcity has affected his business.
“I used to wake up around 5.am to go and buy fuel at the filling station. I buy double the normal price. It has affected my business. I cannot increase the price I am barbing for my customers. I am still barbing at N300 per head. So there is no gain in it.”
At Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) filling station, Ojodu Berger they were selling diesel on at N135 per litre. One of the petrol attendants stated.that they were selling petrol at N86.5 before they were out of stock.