Agene Akhere, Benin
Motorists in Benin metropolis, the Edo State capital, who queued up for petrol as early as 6am Tuesday at the NNPC mega station and some major marketers outlets, got the shocker of their life after finding the stations under lock and key.
When WESTERN POST visited the stations and others within the state capital, it was observed that they were not dispensing products to consumers.
Officials of the station who were seen inside the station standing with armed soldiers who reportedly came at night to provide security in anticipation of the queue refused to comment on the situation.
Sources say that the station was waiting for its tankers which had gone to load at the Benin depot and wanted to have enough reserves on it’d underground tanks before opening it’s gates to the public.
The story was the same at fuel stations along the Sapele Road and Akpakpava as stations were locked up except at Ikpoba hill axis where hundreds of motorists besieged the few filing stations that selling petrol at the approved rate of N97 per litre.
The development has seen more vehicles on the streets searching for fuel, a situation which has slowed down commercial activities as many commuters were stranded after waiting for hours for the few buses plying regular routes.
The notorious black market spots along Dawson Road have also cashed in on the scarcity and selling the petrol in jerry cans on the major road above the pump price for N150 per litre.
Some commercial drivers and private car owners who expressed disappointment at the speed with the scarcity took over the state lamented its likely consequences for the Christmas which is less than a week away.
Contacted Mr Suny Omoragbob, who chairs the state’s fuel monitoring committee, said the committee was studying the situation and would take decisive action in the next few days.