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General News | Feb 15, 2005

Fuel Crisis: Gridlock At Fuel Stations Across Accra

JOY ONLINE

Long queues have formed at a number of the capital's fuel pumping stations this morning as the effects of what seems to be an artificial shortage is experienced all over the country.

Most of the stations visited in Accra are not dispensing fuel, though it is not very clear whether they have run out of the product or are holding onto stocks in anticipation of higher prices when the deregulation regime comes into effect.

Earlier in the day our news team went round a number of the stations and reports that the few filling stations selling the product might not be able to satisfy the long queues that have formed around them.

Some motorists the news team spoke to expressed surprise at the shortage saying they believe it is artificial.

“ I went to Labadi, Ring road, Total and Goil, I couldn't get any so I have to rush to 37 Goil and I have been in the queue for about 20 minutes now, one motorist said.

Others told Joy News team that even though it is not appropriate for the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to hoard fuel in anticipation of any price hikes, the circumstances they find themselves is precarious.

Another motorist said he had visited about five filling stations including Odorkor, Achimota and Airport adding, “I have been here for the past 10 minutes”.

Asked if he believed the fuel was in shortage, he had this to say “Well that is what they are saying but I don't think that is the case, I have monitored some radio stations and they have spoken to one or two people and I think that it is because of this deregulation system, the sellers are hoarding it, that is what I think”.

“When I was coming from Legon Shell they said there is no fuel and I think it is artificial because it is not normal because I buy fuel every morning and the last time I bought fuel was on Sunday evening and there was no queue there”, one motorist said.

I am coming all the way from Oyibi so I have visited six fuel stations and but I don't fuel is in shortage” another motorist said.

Yet other proposed sanctions against any oil company hoarding the fuel.

“ I think the government should set up a task force to arrest owners of fuel stations that are hoarding the petrol”, an angry motorist said.

The situation is no different in other parts of the country.

In the Ashanti, Northern and Eastern Regional capitals, long queues had also been formed with fuel pump stations displaying no fuel signs.

Our news team in the Ashanti Region said three fuel station attendants were arrested on Tuesday morning for hoarding petroleum products.

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