A review of fuel stations across Abuja on Tuesday, October 10, revealed that fuel queues have returned to the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. Meanwhile, pump prices have stayed the same at less than N700 per litre.
As of Tuesday afternoon, and early evening, the fuel queues had started building up and many commuters have started feeling the heat as transportation prices have increased.
However, the intensity of the situation is not at an alarming rate yet.
This is because ever since the fuel subsidy was officially removed in May 2023, many residents (pedestrians and motorists) particularly in the Federal Capital Territory have resorted to managing their movements, they only go out when it is necessary; for work (official and side hustles) and academic reasons.
However, there are still many residents who are on the road daily and now must pay astronomical amounts of money to get to work and school because of the return of fuel queues in the city.
A lot of fuel stations are under lock and key during supposed active hours. Some have been locked since last week (between October 2 to 7).
As a result of this situation, many motorists queue up at the active stations including NNPC Retail stations in the city hoping to buy fuel for their cars.
Ambrose, who spoke, operates a taxi and said he spent hours trying to look for fuel around his location around the Mararaba-Nyanya axis, but he could not find it because some stations were locked, and he had to drive to an NNPC Retail station to buy but had to face a long queue on Tuesday morning.
He said after getting fuel, he had to increase his fares to make up for lost hours he would have used being productive if there were no queues.
The return of a few black-market fuel sellers who are selling fuel at N800 to N850 per litre, particularly to those who need to purchase fuel for their generators at home and small businesses.
Transportation costs are steadily increasing, especially for those who use small regular taxis (popularly called drop), Uber and Bolt taxis.
Bus fares have also increased for commuters as well with people paying up to N400 to go from Nyanya to Area 1 and paying as high as N300 from Karu Bridge to the popular AYA junction which should not cost more than N100 at a time.
Food sellers have started increasing their prices, especially for those who have to commute from Mararaba to markets in town with their food products and have to pay heavily for their transit.
The prices of food items like tomatoes, plantain, and yams are different price today than they were last week because transporters are charging food traders more to bring in their goods to open markets in the city of Abuja.
John Kekeocha, the National Secretary at the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) on Tuesday said Abuja residents have started feeling the heat of the return of fuel queues. He said:
- “You can’t get taxis because most of them cannot get fuel, and their cost is now very high. Many people have packed their vehicles. How many stations are selling? For the few ones that are selling, the queues are endless here in Abuja.”