Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Rivers Residents Complain As Petrol Now Goes For N300/Litre

Following the current scarcity of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as fuel, reports reveal that the product now sells at N180 per litre in Port Harcourt, the capital city of Rivers state.

Fuel scarcity hits Nigeria’s economy hard.

Reports also have it that at the black market, 10litres of petrol is currently being sold for N3, 000, while 20litres is N6, 000.

This was despite the warnings put forward by the Department of Petroleum (DPR) which threatened to sell for free petroleum products of any marketer found to be hoarding products from members of the public.

Some exasperated commercial motorists who gave their names as Clifford Orji and Cletus Festus, claimed they were at petrol station for endless hours but had no hope of buying the product.

They complained that they did not care where the problem was coming from—tank farm owners, major or independent marketers—that they should resolve their problems and provide Nigerians with the products to buy.

One of them said: “Port Harcourt has two refineries, numerous Tank Farms in Onne, Abonnema Warf, Port Harcourt ports, Iworfe and others, yet we continue to here unacceptable stories and excuses.

“The scarcity is having its toll in the lives of residents of Rivers state pockets of parents whose children go to school with public transport. The cost of commercial transportation has doubled.”

Residents of the city also disclosed that fare for buses which used to go for N50 increased to N100 per bus stop. In a similar development, it was also reported that taxis now charge N200 for every bus stop as against the previous fare at N1000.

It was also disclosed that commuters who could not cope with the situation now rely on their legs to cut costs.

However, to beat the watchful eyes of the DPR, owners of petrol stations now play hide and seek with officials of agency and sell their products at night to desperate customers and black marketers.

It was however observed that very few Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) filling stations have products and sell at the official pump price of N87 per litre but are usually overcrowded by anxious motorists who form queues as early as 4am.

Olaniyi Ibiyemi, the head of downstream sector of the DPR, had warned as directed by the minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, that any petrol station that has petroleum products but refuses to sell, DPR officers should dispense such products free of charge and sanction the owners.

He had categorically stated that marketers have no excuse to hoard or sell above pump price.

The scarcity of petroleum products has thrown up other challenges. Traffic gridlock dots various roads where petroleum products are sold as desperate customers block dual carriage ways, like the Port Harcourt/Aba Expressway, East-West roads and Ikwerre road.

On traffic congestions caused by anxious motorists who block the road in their desperate attempt to buy products, Ahmad Muhammad, public relations officer of the Rivers state police command assured that policemen would be deployed to monitor and direct traffic to ease the movement of members of the public who at that point in time where not buying petroleum products.

Meanwhile, a petrol station, Alkad and Sons Nigeria Limited, in Olorunsogo, Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, suffered heavy losses yesterday, November 23, as the DPR gave out their fuel to motorists and motorcyclists free of charge.