Queues for Premium Motor Spirit at filling stations in the Federal Capital Territory following an artificial scarcity have eased off.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports on Sunday that normalcy has been restored as many fuel stations at the Central Business District and Nyanya-Karu-Kurudu-Orozo-Karshi axis are currently selling at the normal rate of N165 per litre and dispensing with all pumping machines.
NAN reports that last week, many fuel stations were seen closed, hoarding or dispensing PMS with one or two pumping machines with queues amid a scarcity in the FCT.
This continued, in spite of assurances given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited that it had an abundant stock of PMS to meet domestic needs, hence panic buying should be avoided.
Speaking with NAN, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Abuja Zonal Office said the artificial fuel scarcity experienced in FCT was in anticipation of subsidy removal.
Mrs Roselyn Wilkie, Zonal Operations Controller, in an interview with NAN, said that the fuel scarcity was artificial, mainly in anticipation of fuel subsidy removal and the resultant panic buying.
According to her, the authority has intensified surveillance during the period to prevent hoarding, sharp practices and to ensure that fuel stations with products utilised the maximum number of pumps linked to their storage tanks.
In this regard, she said that the agency would continue to be on the ground to stop sharp practices and ensure the sustained availability of petroleum products.
On Jan. 25, President Muhammadu Buhari directed an 18-month suspension of the removal of subsidy on PMS.