The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is once again experiencing long fuel queues as party delegates arrive in Abuja for their party primaries.
The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had scheduled their presidential primaries for this weekend.
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However, a grace of one week the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gave political parties on their timeline of primaries has affected that schedule. Already, the APC has announced it would now be holding its presidential primary on June 6-7, 2022.
Abuja residents have been witnessing intermittent long queues at filling stations since the importation of the contaminated fuel in the capital city earlier in the year.
The last long queue experience was after the recent Sallah celebrations on second and third May, 2022.
Checks at filling stations in the capital city over the last two days revealed long queues, with some outlets not even selling at all.
At the time of filing this report, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) was yet to issue any statement to that effect.
But informed sources told the ICIR that there were some fundamental issues affecting the market as the government appeared overwhelmed by subsidy payments.
“I think the volume of fuel consumption in the system is overwhelming the government. At times, people think the government doesn’t get broke, but currently with the kind of subsidy payment now, it’s overwhelming to the government,” a marketer and former chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Adetunji Oyebanji, told the ICIR.
Adetunji said, “Because of the rise in the quantity of petrol that has to be pumped in, there are not many cargoes again going round.
He said marketers were looking at places where the market is price reflective to make more gains.
He said, “As the price is going up, we are paying subsidies, selling at a government-pegged price band of N165 and our West African neighbours are selling at much higher prices.
“What do you think is happening? The fuel is shifting to places where the cost is market reflective. That is why you see no queues in some parts of the country where the price is market-reflective.”
He suggested to the government to ensure a faster transition to a market-reflective regime to halt the incessant long queues in the capital city.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.