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Fuel queues worsens as marketers sell N175/litre, plan strike

Against the stipulated N165/litre, some filling stations on Wednesday sold Premium Motor Spirit at 175/litre, even as the oil marketers insist on embarking on a nationwide strike if the government fails to pay them.

Some outlets in Lagos that sold the commodity at N169/litre last week had to adjust their pumps on Wednesday, as they dispensed PMS to motorists at N175/litre.

Additionally, motorist lines at gas stations, which had been present in Abuja and the surrounding area since February of this year, started to appear again in several areas of Lagos on Wednesday.

It was also observed that many filling stations, particularly those belonging to members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, were shut due to a lack of products to sell to customers.

Gegu Oil, Eterna and Oando filling stations at the Dutse end of the Kubwa-Zuba Expressway in Abuja, for instance, had remained shut for days for lack of products to sell, despite the heavy queues of motorists in a nearby NNPC retail outlet.

Amidst these concerns, oil marketers under the aegis of Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, stated on Wednesday that their proposed strike would go ahead next week if the government fails to substantially clear the bridging claims for transportation of petrol being owed marketers.

Last week, oil marketers warned that Nigeria could witness “the mother of all queues” soon if the Federal Government fails to pay the 12 months bridging claims being owed operators in the downstream oil sector.

They had also denied being paid N74bn by the Federal Government as bridging claims for the transportation of petroleum products.

The Federal Government through its Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority had said last week that it paid N74bn as bridging claims to oil marketers for the transportation of petroleum products across the country in seven months.

But the Secretary, Abuja-Suleja IPMAN, Mohammed Shuaibu, whose unit covers Abuja, Kogi, Niger and parts of Nasarawa and Kaduna, told our correspondent on Wednesday that though some members had confirmed the receipt of payments, a host of others had yet to receive theirs.

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