Queues by motorists and other fuel users at filling stations failed to disappear in major cities across the country on Tuesday.
The situation was the same in Lagos, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun and Osun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory, despite assurances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
However, the NNPC announced that Port Harcourt refinery had commenced operations and was producing five million litres of petrol daily.
Hundreds of motorists on Tuesday formed long queues at the few filling stations that dispensed petrol in Abuja, Lagos and parts of Nasarawa and Kaduna states.
The NNPC stated that the Port Harcourt refinery, which was shut down some months ago, came back on stream last week, adding that the Kaduna refinery was expected to begin operations by next week.
The corporation also stated that it was working out measures to take advantage of the spring switch in refining activities of European petroleum refiners to stockpile petrol into strategic reserves for Nigeria.
The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Garba-Deen Mohammed, told journalists in Abuja that the queues would disappear soon as more vessels discharged petrol.
He said, “Port Harcourt (refinery) has been refining for quite a while now, from last week, between three and five million litres. We expect Kaduna to begin any time from now, and we also have vessels discharging fuel. And so, all these combined measures will bring down the situation.
“When you have this kind of situation, people will naturally get agitated; but people are getting calm now because they know the supply gap has now been bridged and it is a question of distribution now.”