General News of 2014-06-29

Petrol starts pumping in Accra but more required

A number of fuel stations in Accra have started receiving petrol for sale to stranded commuters as queues for the commodity pile up across the capital. It appears however that the supply from the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies will have to be sustained to clear the queues that have built up at the pumps over the past few days.

At the Airport Shell filling station on Saturday, an unusual queue that stretched all the way to the Airport Cargo Village was still lengthening, ahead of the station’s expectation to be supplied 45,000 litres or 10,000 gallons by afternoon.

“Some of the people have spent three days in the queue. The last time we sold petrol was on Thursday, and since we ran out they have not moved anywhere, you can ask them. As for diesel we have, and as you can see we are taking in some more, it is the petrol that is the problem here and I pray that we get the promised supply to ease the congestion. If we don’t get it over this weekend I think we shall feel the impact of the shortage rather severely on Monday. I pray that we get it,” were the words of Mr. E. M. Commodore-Mensah, Manager of the Airport Shell station. He does not expect the supply to go round everybody, and had planned to sell strictly to vehicles, not holders of gallons and other receptacles.

“It will bring confusion and others will start accusing us of conniving with the gallon holders to go and resell for higher profits, but it is the same people who will make the claim, the drivers, particularly the taxi drivers, some of who do the selling,” he said.

Many who had joined the queue on seeing their colleagues in the pile up, were unaware the pumps were not running, and when alerted, they were taken aback only momentarily but remained hopeful of getting the commodity there since their tanks were almost empty.

President Mahama on Friday ordered the release of some strategic reserves to ease the frustration while the government took steps to pay off debts it owed the distribution companies to ensure the situation returns to normal.