21st November, 2015
Some independent petroleum marketers in Umuahia are selling petrol for between N170 and N200 per litre even as the seeming scarcity of the commodity lingers on.
However, at the black market located at strategic points in the Abia state capital, the commodity sells for N300 per litre.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored the situation in the area, reports that the few independent marketers selling the commodity at the approved pump price of N87 per litre are attracting long queues of vehicles as prospective buyers wait patiently for their turns to buy the commodity.
Meanwhile, transport fare in the area has jumped by between 80 per cent and 100 per cent, depending on the distance, thereby forcing many commuters to resort to walking long distances.
At the NNPC mega station located on the Umuahia end of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, scores of motorists and motorcyclists could be seen waiting to buy the commodity at the government-controlled price.
A cross-section of the customers, who spoke with NAN, described the seeming scarcity as disturbing and a situation not expected during President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Augustine Okoronkwo, Steve Ahamefule, and Jenarius Ezeru, who claimed to have spent two days on the queue waiting to buy the commodity but to no avail, said that the situation had caused untold hardship to motorists.
They, therefore, called on President Buhari to take urgent steps towards ensuring the availability of the commodity before the Christmas season.
The Retail Sales Representative at the NNPC mega station, Mr Sampson Ene, told NAN that the station had sufficient stock, but expressed concern about what he called “the disorderliness by some prospective customers’’.