The Kwara Government on Monday in Ilorin dismissed fears from members of the public about possible fuel scarcity following reports of man-made artificial scarcity allegedly created by some overzealous marketers.
Special Assistant to the state Governor on Petroleum Monitoring, Alhaji Lawal Isiaka, said there was no reason for the panic buying or fear of scarcity. He disclosed that the vandalised pipeline on Ogbomoso road, which supplies petroleum products to Ilorin, had been repaired.
Isiaka added that filling stations in Ilorin that closed shop with the hope of creating artificial scarcity as a result of bridging of fuel at Oke-Oyi depot would be disappointed. He warned fuel marketers to avoid selling the commodity above the official pump price.
However, the development had caused panic buying among users of the product within the Ilorin metropolis as motorists, motorcyclists and other domestic users besieged few stations where the product was being sold to the public.
The situation monitored in Omu Aran, headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of the state revealed that no filling station was selling to consumers as at 3pm on Sunday. At Tanke area, the road leading to the Main Campus of the University of Ilorin, cars were seen at Mega station, a subsidiary of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) where many consumers scrambled to procure petrol otherwise known as Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) amidst rowdiness.
Investigations revealed that most independent filling stations had run out of stock, prompting them to close down for business. It was observed that the development had brought about long queues at NNPC stations and some major marketers like Mobil and Total.
The state Chairman of Independent Petroleum Marketers’ Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr. Bashir Olopade, who spoke in a telephone interview, attributed the looming scarcity to inadequate supply of product to independent marketers.
He disclosed that over 300 independent marketers in the state were being supplied with two trucks on daily basis. He said, “There is scarcity because we, independent marketers are not loading as expected because the loading is a camouflage.
They are giving all the independent marketers just two trucks on daily basis. What we do now is to go for bridging by approaching independent depots in Lagos.
Also speaking, the proprietor of Sanrab and Rabson petrol stations, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, confirmed that most independent marketers had exhausted their stocks and could no longer get adequate supplies from the Oke-Oyi depot of the NNPC.
Sanni noted that some of them who opted for Lagos depots had been buying at exorbitant prices, saying that he decided to close shop for business because he could not sell above the approved pump price.
When contacted on his mobile phone the state controller of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Engr Amos Jokodola, said he was on leave and could not make any official comment on the situation until his resumption next month.