Fuel subsidy removal: Commuters lament as queues return to filling stations

Following the announcement of fuel subsidy removal by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech on Monday, fuel queues have returned to filling stations.

On Monday evening, most filling stations were closed while those selling were selling above approved pump price with long queue of customers.

Earlier in the morning before the news of the removal went round, the filling stations were selling at their different rates, but some closed down while others have increased their prices by evening.

Some of the customers said they envisaged scarcity of fuel, hence the panic buying.

Mrs Medinah Jimoh said she would not have the time to go round in search of fuel at an expensive rate when work resume on Tuesday, so she was ready to join the long queue and buy.

Another customer, Mr David Owoeye, said the filling stations were out to exploit the customers as they will start selling old stock at a new price that has not even been announced yet.

”That is the reason why I decided to refill my tank today, so that I will not suffer searching for fuel around when the filling stations start their artificial scarcity,” he said.

However, few other stations especially the major marketers, sold between N195 and N220 per litre across Lagos and Abuja.
Some of the petrol stations operators simply shut their filling stations, thus leading to the emergence of long queues.

Depot owners shut their operations, arguing that further clarification was needed to guide activities on the implementation of the new order.

In Abuja, long queues re-emerged at petrol stations as motorists reacted to the removal of subsidy on petrol. Transporters have also hike fares  as commuters were seen stranded at various bus stops waiting to board commercial bus which may have been trapped in the frenzy that greeted the petrol subsidy removal.

Few of the buses that were on the road for business hiked the fares between 50 and 100 per cent over fear of impending scarcity.
One of the motorists lamented, “Why would Tinubu start on this note to punish the already depressed, impoverished Nigerians inflicted by the former administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“This is absolutely unfair to Nigerians. When I heard that Tinubu has directed the removal of oil subsidy, I had to rush down here to fill my tank and some jerry cans for my power generating set.”

Also, Mr John Akinloye, another motorist said, “I was not surprised to see queues at the fuel stations after the announcement. I just pray this sad and unfortunate development will not last so as not to put suffering masses in another round of economic and mental torture.

“I have been at the fuel station for over an hour, and am yet to get to the fuel pump point. Even the fuel attendants are not willing to sell more than N3,000 per buyer. If you want to buy N4,000 they are refusing.”

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