By our correspondents
THE hope of Nigerians to drive leisurely into filling stations, refill the tanks of their vehicles without hassles and pay government approved price has not been completely realised despite the minister’s April 7 assurance.
Dr. Ibe Kachikwu had last month pledged that the perennial fuel scarcity would be a thing of the past by yesterday night.
But at press time, from Ebonyi in the South East to Jigawa and Kano in the North West, Adamawa in the North East to Rivers and Edo in the South, Abuja the FCT and Nasarawa, Benue and Kogi in the North Central, it has remained a tale of pain woes and gnashing of teeth as the scarcity noose tightens, as a litre of fuel sells for between N160 and N500.
“Enugu, roads are becoming empty as only a few motorists can afford to buy fuel at the current price of N250 a litre.
Fares have gone up by over 200 per cent just as the scarcity has affected prices of food and other items.
Most civil servants now trek to work while bicycles are returning as alternative means of transport.
In Sokoto State, the acute shortage has crippled both economic and social activities.
Price goes for between N250 to N350 per litre, resulting in high cost of transportation fares.
As at yesterday, only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station in Port Harcourt that had fuel.
Black marketers, who have it sell for N500 per litre both within and without Kaduna, the state capital.
In Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, fuel was being sold between N250 and N270 per litre in the few fuel stations that opened for business.
In Edo State the NNPC mega station on Sapele Road, which had no petrol since last week Saturday, yesterday began selling at N86 per liter while independent marketers sell for between N210 and N230.
The situation has remained chaotic in Katsina as motorists scramble to buy the product for between N195 and N203 a litre while at the black market, a gallon sells for between N1200 and N1400.
In Jigawa, all the filling station except the NNPC mega-station have remained shut.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) patrolling the capital and other major cities to stop black market who are selling the fuel at N300 per litre.
In Yenagoa and its environs, filling stations are selling for N200 per litre. Investigations revealed that the state petroleum tax force chairman Okosikeme Emmanuel has concluded plans with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to enforce the petrol price in the state.
In Asaba, the capital of Delta State, acute shortage has persisted as most retail outlets bearing the ‘No fuel’ sign.
In most of the stations along major roads of Nnebisi, Summit, Anwai, Dennis Osadebey, yesterday, the product was being sold for N210 per litre.
The scarcity has resulted in hike in transport fares in Asaba as commercial tri-cyclists popularly called Keke and taxis have increased their fares.
A litre of fuel is still being sold for between N200 and N250 in Abuja while taxi fares have gone up to between N500 and N600 depending on the distance.
Meanwhile most areas in Abuja have been witnessing terrible blackout as power generation has dropped. Most people could not power their generating set as a result of lack of petrol.