Residents of Lagos State now queue at their respective local government secretariats to buy kerosene through the Kero-Direct initiative.
The Tide correspondent reports that the initiative came from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to sell the product to consumers directly through the NNPC/Capital Oil and Gas.
Mr Ifeanyi Ubah, Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas, told The Tide on phone that the initiative, which started in 2011, had generated 2,000 jobs.
However, some of the residents claimed that the supply of the product, which was done every weekend, became inconsistent and later ceased.
A civil servant, Mrs Deborah Kalajaiye with the Apapa Local Government, told The Tide that they had been in the queue all day awaiting the arrival of the product.
Kalejaiye said that the scarcity of kerosene might not end soon as many filling stations in the state still sold the product for between N110 and N150 per litre.
Nonetheless, she urged the state government to sustain the initiative, saying, “We are seriously feeling the heat of the ongoing scarcity of kerosene. Every weekend, we take turns awaiting the distribution of kerosene through the mobile trucks initiative,’’ Kalejaiye said.
A resident of Amuwo-Odofin, Dr Phillips Idowu, urged the government to re-visit the sale of kerosene through mobile trucks to consumers, adding that when the initiative started in 2011, many residents hailed it, believing that it would end the scarcity of the product.
Mr Oluwafemi Akingboola, a printer in Somolu Local Government Area, alleged that the current scarcity was caused by the greed of some marketers.
He said that the only way the government could ensure effective distribution of the product was to use trustworthy marketers.
“Most marketers don’t like the Kero-Direct initiative because it does not give them room to cut corners,” Akingboola stressed.
“Marketers should allow government to commence the second phase of the Kero-Direct initiative so that the consumers could have access to the product,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, the Chairman of Epe Local Government Area, said that the government should make the product available to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians.
“It is no longer news that scarcity of kerosene is biting harder than expected, particularly in the rural areas.
“Efforts by the government to address the situation have proved abortive as the marketers have a way of imposing hardship on their fellow citizens,” he said.
Mr Olumide Ogunmade, the chairman of the western zone of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), blamed the scarcity on the monopoly enjoyed by the NNPC in the importation of kerosene.
“The product is not scarce, but its demand is more than the supply. NNPC has not told us what happened to kerosene; they should explain to Nigerians,’’ Ogunmade said.