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Business News of Wednesday, 25 January 2023


Lagosians lament as filling stations sell fuel at N350 per litre

Fuel hikes Fuel hikes

In the last two months, Nigerians have been enduring frustrating queues caused by scarcity and a hike in the pump price of petrol. Today, many filling stations in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital, are selling petrol for as much as N350 depending on the location and the time of the day.

The scarcity intensifies by the day, with motorists and other consumers of the product spending long hours at filling stations and wasting man hours that could have been put into more productive activities.

Earlier last week, it was reported that the Federal Government secretly increased the pump price of petrol to N185 per litre. Even though the Federal Government, through the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, swiftly denied the report, the price of the product still remained on the high side, selling for as much as N500 in cities like Uyo, Port Harcourt and Owerri.

Checks by revealed that while the NNPC filling stations are selling at the official price of N165 per litre, other independent marketers are selling between N240-N350 per litre. When probed further, it was found out that most NNPC stations hardly have the product, but the few that had fuel and were selling, were usually prone to long queues that stretch into major highways.

As at press time, the NNPC filling stations in Okota, Amuwo-Odofin, and Ikeja either did not have the product or were not selling to consumers.

MRS filling station in Oshodi sold petrol to consumers at N240 per litre. ConOil in Ikeja was selling at N270 per litre and MRS filling station on Ikorodu Road was selling at N320 per litre. NIPCO filling station along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway sold for N320 per litre. Rain Oil in Ikorodu hardly had any queue as it sold its petrol for N350 per litre, a situation which suggested that only those who could afford the high price patronised them. The same was observed at Jezco filling station on Ago Palace way, Okota.

Further checks revealed that the private filling stations were selling at higher prices compared to major marketers. Lekan Jimoh, a Lagos-based car dealer told us the shock he received when he drove into a filling station and was told that the price for a litre was N350.

I never thought I'd see the day when I will buy fuel at N350 per litre in a filling station in Lagos. Yes, I bought a litre of fuel for N350 a few days ago at a filling station in Agege. I understand that it sometimes sold for more than that amount in some other cities in the country but never in Lagos. Because I really needed it, I had no choice but to buy a few litres.

Long queues were seen at the NNPC filling station at Fagba where petrol was sold for N165. The queue in and around the filling station extended to the major road causing traffic gridlock. Some motorists who could not stand the long queues resorted to black marketers plying their illegal businesses close to the filling stations. Hawking their products in different sizes of jerry cans and bottles, the black market traders were seen selling petrol in the range between N300-N500, depending on the location.

Jide Akinloye, a motorist who spoke with said that was in a queue for four hours before finally getting fuel at the rate of N280 per litre at Petrocam filling station in Isheri. Chidi Nwoko, a barber, said he had to pay an additional N200 after paying the requested value for the amount of fuel he purchased because he bought it in a jerry can.