World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigerians are heaving a sigh of relief now that numerous gas stations countrywide resumed operations following a deal with protesting oil marketers to recommence business and ensure that oil depots are adequately supplied.
"Gas stations are now selling fuel at the normal price of 87 naira [per liter], but lines are long because many people want to get fuel to resume business, having run out of fuel over the past few days," Olawale Razaq, a private driver, told Anadolu Agency.
"I bought 35 liters [of gas] this morning, although I waited on line for about an hour," he said.
As of Tuesday morning, an AA correspondent in Lagos reported that prominent oil marketers – such as Oando, Mobil, Total, Conoil and Capital Oil – had all opened for business.
Samson Shonibare, a commercial driver, said gas stations in most parts of Lagos had begun selling at normal prices.
"As you can see, I just bought 25 liters for 87 naira at the Oando filling station here in Abule Egba," he told Anadolu Agency.
"But you can only get [gasoline] if you are patient, because the line is just too long," noted Shonibare.
"Many people obviously want to get gas, but it will be two or three days before things return to normal," he said.
Following a deal brokered by the Nigerian Senate, fuel marketers on Monday agreed to resume gasoline distribution.
Oil marketers had said the government owed them a whopping 200 billion naira with which the government was supposed to subsidize the import of refined petroleum products.
In protest against the non-payment, marketers had refused to supply oil to depots, thereby bringing the entire national economy to its knees.
Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said over the weekend that the government would not pay the subsidy claims unless they were verified by all necessary state agencies.
But chronic fuel shortages – which crippled the local banking sector, airlines, telecommunications and transportation countrywide – had forced the government to back down.
Due to the ongoing fuel shortage, with a liter of oil fetching as much as 500 naira on the black market, several big businesses went under.
Along with GTBANK, which had earlier cut its daily work hours, at least two other major Nigerian banks – FCMB and First Bank – announced similar measures.
And at least two major telecom firms also announced possible service outages as a result of the fuel crisis.
Since Nigeria's national power grid is largely unreliable, many local businesses depend on fuel-powered generators for electricity.
Damilare Dauda, a gas station attendant at a Total filling station located along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in southwestern Nigeria, said the station had resumed selling gas.
"We have taken delivery of tanker loads of fuel and are selling accordingly," he told Anadolu Agency.
"Unlike a few days when we only dispensed from one nozzle, all our nozzles have been engaged since morning," noted Dauda.
But Jacob Ajenifuja, an engineer and resident of the Ijoko area in the southwestern Ogun State, said many local gas stations were still not open for business.
"A friend helped me get some liters [of gas] at Agbado, a border community between Lagos and Ogun, at 150 naira per liter," he told Anadolu Agency by phone.
He added: "But at least it's available now."Last Mod: 26 Mayıs 2015, 15:39