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Fuel queues spread nationwide over looming price hike

The queues for petrol jumped nationwide on Monday following the shutdown of many filling stations amid heightened expectations of an increase in the pump price of the product.

Business Hilights recalls that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had on February 9 said Nigerians should prepare for the pain associated with the increase in crude oil price. The international oil price, Brent crude, rose by more than 14 per cent in February as it closed at $64.42 per barrel, up from $56.42 per barrel at the start of the month. Motorists besieged the few outlets that were open for business in Abuja, Nasarawa, Niger and Borno states, while some others that had dispensed petrol the previous day were locked on Sunday. Two weeks ago, queues of motorists were seen in many locations after oil marketers raised concerns about petrol pricing by depot owners and how this affected petroleum products supply. The queues resurfaced on Saturday and Sunday, as only few filling stations were dispensing petrol while others were shut. Some attendants at some of the shut outlets told one of our correspondents that they were not selling petrol because the cost of the product would be increased from March.