It's going to be one of the worst Christmas days in Nigeria's history as long queues at petrol filling stations in various parts of the country continued yesterday with a litre of fuel selling at between N210 and N250 in some filling stations .
In some locations in Ibadan where black market thrives, a litre of petrol sells as much as N400 per litre. These filling stations selling the product, operate only in the night , with vehicles queueing throughout the day.
The scarcity, which has continued unabated in the city, has caused a lot of hardship on the residents who were preparing for the Xmas and New Year celebration.
Many residents, who could not afford the high cost of transport fares, were seen trekking long distance due to exorbitant fares charged by commercial transport operators.
Due to the scarcity of petrol , commercial transport operators have jacked up fares by over 100 per cent.
Our correspondent, who went round the city yesterday, observed hundred of commuters trekking long distance due to scarcity of vehicles and commercial motorcycles in many parts of the ancient city.
Many bus stops within the city were flooded with scores of commuters who were stranded as they waited endlessly to no avail.
Transport fare that goes for N100 from Mokola to Ojoo is now between N200 and N250. The one from Gate to UI is now between N150 and N200 instead of N100.
From Ajibode Junction to Ojoo is now N50 instead of N20. This applied to other areas .
Many filling stations that were partially selling the product on Tuesday and Wednesday were under lock and key when our correspondent visited yesterday.
A resident of Ologun-Eru told this reporter yesterday that some of the petrol station selling the product in his area are selling between N210 and N250 per litre.
The scarcity has also afforded some youths in areas such as Mokola, Sabo and Ajibode to turn the situation in making brisk business by selling 4-5 litres of Petrol at the rate of N2000- N3000 depending on the bargaining power of the prospective buyer.
A resident of Ajibode ,who begged not to be named, said he spent many hours at a petrol station to no avail.
Another resident of Ibadan, who spoke with The Nation, noted that though the petrol still sold at the normal price in his area, but it would take one about five hours to get the product.
He said: “They are still selling at the normal price of N140. But it is a very long queue, you will spend up to five hours before you get it. But those selling black market, they sell four litres for N2000.”
A cross section of those who also spoke with our correspondent appealed to the government to find lasting solution to the persistent problem.
In Lagos, the prices have skyrocketed as petrol is selling at N200 per litre in Lagos, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
NAN checks revealed that more filing stations have joined the growing numbers of stations without the product while few who had product sell between N 170 to N200 per litre with long queues.
A NAN correspondent, who monitored fuel situation within Lagos metropolis around 7 a.m. yesterday, reports that most stations at Ikorodu, Epe, Imota, Ibeju-Lekki and Ajah were seen selling petrol at N200 per litre.
At Be Happy, Mallo, Bravo, Domino, and Dhikram filling stations situated at Ikorodu was selling at N200 per litre while motorists were mandated to pay N50 as ‘commission’ to the attendants, before they sell to them.
Mobil, Oando and Total filling stations along Lekki-Epe Expressway was dispensing at N145 per litre but there were long queues while motorists were cited buying fuel from ‘black market’ along the road.
NAN also observed that some independent marketers filling stations branded with NNPC colour were also selling at N170 per litre with their dispensing meter showing N143 per litre.
Black market operators at Monsinmi depot were selling a 30-litre gallon at N6, 000 with inter-state commercial and private motorists packed along the road to fill their tanks.
Mr Ndu Ughamadu, spokesman of the NNPC has said the corporation has intensified efforts to flood the market with petrol.
Ughamadu said six major marketers: Total, Forte Oil, Oando Plc, MRS, 11 Plc and Nipco Plc, are now loading products round the clock from their various depots in Lagos for onward trucking to all parts of the country.
According to him, the supplies are mostly from cargoes of petrol imported to by NNPC which are daily berthing and immediately being made to discharge their products to stem the supply hiccups.
“ The imported products are also being supplemented by supplies from the local refineries.
“ NNPC assures Nigerians to remain calm and not to engage in panic buying as the end of the challenge is nigh.
“Marketers are strongly advised against hoarding as security agencies, working with industry regulators, would mete out appropriate sanctions to defaulters. NAN reports that the scarcity of petrol had brought hardship on many Nigerians as many cannot travel to celebrate the yuletide with their family in different villages.
NAN also reports that many filling station have increased the pump price of petrol to N250 per litre while the black market are selling five litres of petrol between N2,500 and N3,000.
Transport fare in Lagos metropolis has also increased by 300 per cent. Travelers stranded at Mararaba motor park as fuel scarcity persists
As the ongoing scarcity of petrol continues to bite harder, passengers travelling for Christmas were stranded at Mararaba motor park in Nasarawa State on Sunday.
NAN reports that as a result of the scarcity of petroleum products, transporters seem to be cashing in on the development, with fares increased arbitrarily.
In Akure, Owo,Ondo Akokoland and other parts of Ondo State, the scarcity remains bad.
At Ikare,Oke-Agbe,Akungba,Arigidi and other communities, people were trekking long distances due to scarcity and hike in fuel which had been affecting the area in the past three weeks.
The situation in Ikare was so pathetic as a drop for taxi attracted between N150 and N200 depending on distance.
The Nation observed that many people trekked from Ikare-Okeagbe- Erusu down to Oke-Agbe and Ogbagi.
Transport fare from Lagos to Ikare-Akoko was N4,000 as against the usual N2,300.
The black marketers selling in jerry can along Ikare Road were selling a litre for N600, while such petrol had been reportedly mixed with kerosine.
As at the press time, only one filling station was selling at N300 per litre in Akokoland with similar situation in Akure and other major towns in the state.