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Fuel queues rise after Kachikwu’s comments

Fuel queues rose sharply in Abuja and major states across the country on Thursday after the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu said…

Fuel queues rose sharply in Abuja and major states across the country on Thursday after the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Ibe Kachikwu said  that the queues might not be completely eliminated until about two months.

 The scarcity of petrol has lingered since January over loading delays and forex shortages as hundreds of motorists crowd filling stations on a daily basis but the scarcity has worsened in what stakeholders described as a reaction to the minister’s comments.

 “…Although I don’t want to put a time frame, but I will expect that over the next two months, we should see quite frankly a complete elimination of this (fuel queues),’’ Kachikwu had told State House correspondents shortly after he led a joint delegation of oil workers’ unions to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.

 The minister had earlier this month given assurances that the long queues at various petrol stations will ease off in days’ time but his latest comment, it was observed, has stoked greater apprehension among Nigerians who struggle daily to buy the product.

 At some of the major fuel stations that dispensed petrol in the central part of Abuja on Thursday, chaos and scuffles reigned among motorists.

 Our reporters gathered that while some motorists queued for fuel despite having no urgent need for it, others swelled the stations to fill their tanks for fear that there may be acute scarcity during the Easter holiday.

 “I want to prepare myself, the minister has said it. He knows the true situation; he is the authority in the sector. So, I believe I have to buy enough that can sustain me at least for now, because anything can happen before May,” Cyril Nnamdi, a trader, told one of our reporters at Conoil filling station located opposite the NNPC towers.

 A motorist told one of our reporters by phone from Lagos that, "The situation in Lagos is terrible, I bought petrol N200 per litre at a fuel station and even at that price i still struggled before I could  buy it,"

 A businessman Dayo Adetola, at Eterna Filling Station, Jabi, said “It is not just today, the situation has been bad. I have been to five filling stations today. And the little fuel I have is almost finished, yet I have not bought. I have been here for about an hour now.”

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