Scores of residents of Osun State were seen over the weekend queuing up for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, in a panic response to supposed imminent scarcity of the product.
DAILY POST correspondent, who went round Osogbo metropolis to monitor the situation, observed that majority of petrol stations owned by independent marketers were under lock.
Manager of one of a station along Ring Road, who was identified as Wasiu, said the directives to close down the station was necessitated by the fear of possible increase in pump price of the product.
“This is Nigeria, where everything is possible. There was strong signal that increment in the pump price of PMS was being contemplated, which brought about speculation of scarcity.
“It is all game, the government is aware of all the drama, they are just playing it down to stabilise the polity,” he stated.
While all mega stations and outlets of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) were opened to sell products, there were still long queues as at Monday morning.
A commercial driver, Mr Amusa Ali, who claimed to have been on queue since the early hours of Monday, decried what he termed the “unstable Nigerian petroleum market”.
He opined that the speculated fuel scarcity was strengthened as many of the fuel stations hurriedly closed for business since Friday and remained under lock till the early Monday morning.
“The panic for scarcity became rife when all stations of Bovas in Osun stopped selling petroleum products; that signalled something was amiss,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Head of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Osun State, Mr Kunle Adeyemo, in a telephone interview with DAILY POST, said nothing could have brought about the scarcity in the first place, adding that people were being unnecessarily panic.
He disclosed that there were enough deposit of petroleum products in the country that could go round and sufficiently meet domestic demands.
Adeyemo said, “There is nothing like scarcity, NNPC has come out to debunk it. People are just unnecessarily panic, there is a lot of deposit of fuel in the country, even more than enough to serve the whole nation. There can never be any scarcity of fuel.”
Asked what could have caused palpable panic in the first place, he responded: “You know our people, nothing concrete could have warranted that initially .
“I can assure you that by the end of today, every filling station will starts selling products; there is huge deposit of product in the country.
“Our people will be moving out today to monitor situation within Osogbo metropolis. Whoever is found to be hoarding fuel would be brought to book,” Adeyemo said.