By Adewale Sanyaolu
After months of respite across the country, long fuel queues returned to Lagos metropolis over the weekend as many retail stations locked up the entrance to their facilities leaving motorists stranded for hours bon Sunday.
As early as 9am yesterday, many motorists had besieged filling stations in search of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly called petrol.
At the Mobil filling station in Odo-Eran in Ogba, long queues of vehicles was seen around 3.35pm, with accompanying gridlock as motorists made last minutes efforts to get product for their cars and generators.
Daily Sun findings revealed that most filling stations are out of stock as majority of the retail outlets within Ikeja, and Ogba saying they are out of stock.
A marketer in one of the leading depots at Apapa told Daily Sun that for three consecutive days; Thursday, Friday and Saturday, there was no loading because they had no product.
He said the situation may take a turn for the worse in the new week if nothing was done to address the supply shortfall.
Daily Sun had last week exclusively reported the effect of soaring price of diesel on the operations of oil marketers and Small Medium Enterprise(SMEs) operators.
As at last week, the average ex-depot price of diesel according to Daily Sun findings was N754 per litre.
It was further revealed that the retail price of diesel at filling stations has risen to between N800 and N810 per litre. Some of the oil marketers who spoke to Daily Sun in separate interviews said the current fuel scarcity being witnessed in Abuja was as a result of soaring diesel prices.
Our source in one of the major depots in Apapa told Daily Sun in confidence that most transporters are not loading to Abuja because of the high cost of diesel.
The source said the high cost of diesel has made it very unprofitable for the transporters to bridge petroleum products to Abuja.
Similarly, retails outlets in Lagos are equally not spared as they lamented that over 60 per cent of their revenue is now spent on diesel.
They explained that the source of power from public power supply has gone from bad to worse lately, forcing them to run on diesel- powered generators for longer hours. This, they said, is not a sustainable business model as they have to contend with other operational cost that make the business less lucrative.
Meanwhile businesses operating within the SME space and their counterparts in the Fast Moving Consumable Goods(FMCG)are currently lamenting over the escalating diesel with a most increase in the price of goods and services. For instance, a loaf of bread which cost N750 last week is now being sold for N950. Chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria(MOMAN), Mr. Olumide Adeosu had during a presentation at a virtual workshop organised by MOMAN for Energy Correspondents last April lamented that the current N6.19 retail margin for marketers was hampering investments, saying total distribution margin under the current petrol pricing template accounts for 11.5 per cent of the petrol pump price despite significant increase in costs, saying operators are struggling along the supply chain to get petrol out of the nuzzles into the cars which is difficult to sustain.