Motorists and other users of of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, in Abuja and other neighbouring states have no clue why the scarcity of the product has persisted for so long.

Queues by thousands of motorists and other users have been a regular sight in the Federal Capital Territory and neighbouring states since the end of the fourth quarter of last year.

Many independent filling stations remained closed on Wednesday for lack of fuel to dispense, while the few major oil marketers and mega filling stations belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC that dispensed the commodity had to contend with long queues of desperate motorists.

Many residents of the FCT and neighbouring states believe that the government and the oil firm, the NNPC, may have run out of ideas on how to handle the situation.

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“It is obvious that the Federal Government and the NNPC are currently bereft of ideas on how to handle the scarcity of petrol that we see in many parts of Nigeria and this is so unfortunate,” an angry motorist in one of the queues at the NNPC mega station along Kubwa-Zuba Expressway, Sumaila Khadijah, said.

The NNPC, however, announced on Wednesday that it had stepped up the arrest and prosecution of errant marketers and fuel hawkers across the country.

The corporation said its special task force on filling stations’ monitoring had made a series of arrests, including two filling station managers, who diverted 66,000 litres of petrol, and six illegal hawkers of the product in Abuja.

It stated that the managers of Azman filling stations in Nyanya and Kuje, suburbs of Abuja, were arrested after close monitoring by the team for diverting trucks of petrol meant for their stations to unknown destinations.

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