Some fuel stations not operating for 24 hours as NNPC claims

Some filling stations in Abuja the NNPC says are dispensing petrol round the clock in a bid to clear queues that have mounted for weeks are just not doing that.

Of 48 stations the company listed as providing 24-hour service in the federal capital, PREMIUM TIMES confirmed at least four were closed and not selling fuel and five did not operate night and day.

Nigerians especially in the federal capital have endured an unpredictable supply of fuel for nearly a year now, with filling stations operating at reduced capacity.

The crisis started in 2021 after the government announced its plan to remove fuel subsidies. Marketers, who the regulators initially accused of hoarding the product, refused to resume normal operations even after the suspension of the subsidy removal plan.

The problem worsened in February after the federal government said methanol found in imported fuel exceeded Nigeria’s specification. The development resulted in a shortage of petrol and queues reappearing in other major cities.

Endless fuel queues persist in Abuja, despite NNPC assurance.
Endless fuel queues persist in Abuja, despite NNPC assurance.

Traffic gridlocks appeared across major parts of Abuja as many service lanes were closed to traffic due to queues from petrol stations.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) had last month said it had commenced 24-hour operations at its depots and retail outlets to restore normal supply and distribution of petrol across the country.

“To accelerate distribution across the country, we have commenced 24-hour operations at our Depots and Retail outlets,” NNPC said in a statement in February.

To further assure residents, the company on Monday listed 48 fuel stations it said operated 24-hour service, where FCT residents and their environs can get fuel at any time.

The stations are:

==>AA Rano located at Area 3, Aviation village, Citygate, International Market Nyanya, Jabi, Mpape/Maitama/Katampe and the A. A Rano Oil located at Nyanya

==> ADROVA Petrol station located at Apo, Gwagwalada, IBB way, Life camp, Transcorp, Zone 1 and AFDIN fuel station at Citygate and Katampe

==>AYM Shafa at Bwari-Dutse Road, Dawaki, Lugbe Airport Road, Katampe, Deidei Junction, CBN Karu, Rita Lori, Wuye and Austoma located at Banex junction

==>Conoil petrol station opposite NNPC Towers and Jabi, Danmarna at FHA Lugbe and Wuye, Enyo Arab road junction, Eterna at Banex junction, Wuse II and Eterna Dutse junction

==>Mainland located at Dutse, NIPCO Oil at Banex, Jabi and Wuse II, NNPC Mega Station Zone 1, OANDO located at Jabi, zone 1 and Zone 4, Rain Oil Gwarimpa, Shema located at Katampe, Airport Road, Karu Nyanya road and finally Total Filling station opposite NNPC Towers and near Police Headquarters

File: Fuel queue at a Petrol station.
File: Fuel queue at a Petrol station.

PREMIUM TIMES visited most of these petrol stations in Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday but observed that some did not operate 24 hours. Some were shut.

Austoma and Eterna fuel stations located at Bannex junction were closed in the afternoon while people around the station said the stations had been closed for weeks.

“Austoma does not operate 24-hour service, I have been repairing cars inside this station, they close by 7-8 pm,” said a mechanic at a car service centre there. “They don’t even have fuel here for more than two weeks now,” he said.

A shop owner at the Eterna fuel station in Bannex who refused to mention his name said “This is my shop, this station does not operate 24 hours. I am very sure of what I’m telling you because I sell here.”

At NIPCO fuel station located at Banex an attendant said, “Fuel scarcity or not we don’t sell 24 hours here the highest we can stay is 8- 9 pm.

Some fuel stations not operating for 24 hours as NNPC claims

“I won’t lie to you, we don’t sell 24hours, no station is open till daybreak.”

The station manager, at OANDO, filling station Zone 4, who refused to give his name, said “We are on 24-hours normally but they vandalise our transformer at the back so because of that, our generator cannot run for so long we close around 10 – 11 pm. So for the meantime, we don’t work 24 hours.”

At Total near the police headquarters in Abuja, one of the station supervisors who also refused to give his name said, “If there’s no fuel we close at any time but presently we don’t operate 24 hours even if there’s fuel. We only operate till 2 am.

“The reason is that consumers use it to cause chaos and when there is a little problem they will start fighting. I’m just telling you that we don’t fully operate 24 hours, he said.

At one of the NNPC outlets in zone 1, the station supervisor said, “When you see us close here that means we want to discharge because we can’t be selling and at the same time discharging. Sometimes we close by 2 -3 am,” he added.

The spokesperson of NNPC, Garbadeen Muhammed, did not return calls or respond to a message seeking comments.

This article is a republished article from Premium Times.

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