The few merchants of petrol in Abuja as of Sunday were young men and women who sold the product in jerry cans.
The ‘black marketers’ sold the product at N250 per litre, while the only filling station that had the product in Kubwa, a satellite town in the FCT, sold it for N130 per litre.
In fact, the obscure station in Kubwa, which had no name, was the only one that sold fuel in the area on Sunday as our correspondent moved round four satellite towns and the city centre.
In the city centre, it was observed that virtually all the filling stations were shut. The two in front of the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Total and Conoil, which often sold fuel in order to douse tension in the town, were shut when our correspondent visited.
Instead of getting the product from petrol stations, motorists had to resort to the ‘black marketers’ right in front of many filling stations.
Despite the fact that the Total petrol station in front of the NNPC headquarters was not selling fuel, long queues were formed in the outlet as motorists expressed the belief that the station would get the product before the end of the day.
It was learnt that marketers stopped lifting petrol to Abuja since Thursday, a development that led to the severe scarcity of the product since Friday.
Some marketers stated that the government had yet to clear their outstanding subsidy claims, stressing that this was also affecting the importation of the product and its supply.
Our correspondent gathered that some of the marketers decided to garner their revenue by selling the product at prices far higher than the regulated rate.
“We have no option but to make our money in the best way we can since the government is not saying anything about the subsidy claims. Well, you cannot blame the government in a way; everyone is waiting for them to hand over and they are taking their time,” a marketer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
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