13th January, 2012
Four days into the labour-instigated nationwide protests against the removal of petrol subsidy, petrol now attracts as much as N300 per litre in parts of Lagos, as against the vexed N140 recommended by the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
The PPPRA announced on January 1 that the subsidy on petrol had been removed, a development that led to the hike in the pump price of petrol from N65 to about N140 per litre, depending on where it is purchased.
Organised labour, however, kicked against the deregulation and called out Nigerian workers for an indefinite strike which began on January 9.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four-day-old strike has paralysed most parts of the country, especially Lagos, putting a stop to the movement of tankers usually used in the distribution of petroleum products.
NAN reports that though most filling stations in Lagos are not selling petrol from their pumps, all around them are hawkers selling the product for as much as N300 per litre.
In Festac Town, a five-litre keg was sold for between N1,200 and N1,500 on Wednesday night, while a filling station sold petrol at N160 a litre from its pumps at Oko-afo on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, in the early hours of Thursday.
A filling station at Maryland, NAN reports, also sold petrol direct from its pumps to motorists on Thursday morning at N200 per litre.
Some of the filling stations around Kosofe, Somolu, Surulere, Alimosho and Apapa Local Government Areas, were seen only dispensing fuel at odd hours of the day, in drums, to middlemen.
Filling station attendants, however, told NAN they were not to blame as the price at which they were selling was dictated by how much they bought it.
NAN learnt that more than 15 ships laden with petroleum products, such as kerosene, petrol, aviation fuel and ethanol, are waiting to berth at Lagos ports since the weekend, while tank farms have become inaccessible to petroleum product marketers.
Mr. Jonathan Nicol, Secretary-General, Shippers’ Association of Lagos State, told NAN that billions of naira had been lost to the strike.