The pump price of petrol has continued to increase in towns across the country as scarcity of the product persisted on Wednesday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
A survey by NAN in major cities across the country shows that long queues have characterised the few fuel stations that are selling the product, while others remained closed.
Some residents of Osun State expressed worry over the lingering scarcity of petrol, which, according to them, has worsened the living conditions of the people.
Sulaimon Ayoola, a commercial driver at Orita-Sabo in Osogbo, said the scarcity of petrol was adversely affecting businesses in the area.
Ayoola said a litre of petrol was being sold for between N120 and N140 at the few fuel stations with long queues.
Tejumola Oso, a trader in the Orisunbare Market in Osogbo, said the high transport fares caused by the scarcity of petrol had affected sales in the market.
Oso urged the Federal Government to quickly intervene to ease the sufferings of the people.
A Public Affairs Analyst, Dotun Deinde, described the current situation as unfortunate and urged government to immediately arrest the situation.
NAN reports that the situation was the same in Keffi in Nasarawa State as residents agreed that government should end to the lingering fuel scarcity.
Cecilia Austin, a commuter, said she paid N700 from Keffi to Lafia against the usual N500.
Austin said the scarcity of the petroleum products was causing untold hardship to her and many others in the area.
She advised the Federal Government to take strong measures against petroleum dealers and marketers who were hoarding petroleum products.
Austin advised government and marketers to address the problem immediately for social and economic development of the country.
She said: “It is unfortunate and uncalled for that some selfish fuel marketers are creating artificial scarcity of petroleum products in the country.”
Emmanuel Anejuka, another commuter, urged the government to quickly address the difficulties being experienced by Nigerians.
Haruna Abdullahi, a commercial driver, accused fuel stations of sharp practices, saying that many of them had adjusted their metres above the N87 per litre official pump price.
Ayuba Danjuma, another motorist, said petrol scarcity had forced him and other drivers in the area to resort to patronising the black market.
NAN reports that only three fuel stations were dispensing with long queues out of the 13 fuel stations in Keffi.
Residents of Owerri and other communities in Imo State also urged the Federal Government to urgently address the scarcity to ease the sufferings of Nigerians.
Correspondents of NAN, who monitored petrol sales in Owerri and other towns across Imo State, report that petrol was being sold between N140 and N200 per litre.
Many fuel stations on Port Harcourt Road, Orji Road and Egbu Road in Owerri sold a litre of the product for between N150 and N165 per litre.
NAN also reports that the petrol stations in other parts of the town sold the product for between N170 and N200 per litre.
Ndubuisi Emenike, a motorist, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to find a solution to the lingering petrol scarcity to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the All Progressives Congress-led government.
Emenike said: “During the 2015 general elections, Nigerians massively supported the ‘Change’ mantra of the APC on the grounds that things will get better.”
Another motorist, Ngozi Duru, said she went out as early as 6.45am with her children in school uniforms in the hope of getting petrol, but could not find the product to buy.
NAN reports that intra-city and inter-city transport fares across Imo State have gone up by more than 100 per cent due to the hike in the pump price of petrol.
In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, most filling stations in the city were yet to commence sale of the product to motorists.
Residents lamented the scarcity in spite of claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on November 16 that it had deployed 38.277 million litres of petrol to depots across the country.
Many fuel stations in the area visited by NAN sold the product for between N200 to N215 per litre.
NAN reports that some petrol vendors are taking advantage of the situation as a 10-litre jerry-can of petrol now goes for N3,000, while 20-litre can costs N6,000.
One NNPC filling station in the city sold the product at the official pump price of N87 per litre, but with long queues of motorists and other users.
Prices of other petroleum products such as kerosene and diesel have remained unchanged at government approved prices of N50 and N125 per litre respectively.
A manager of a major filling station in the city told NAN, on condition of anonymity, that petroleum depots and tank farms were hoarding products over subsidy arrears owed by the Federal Government.
The source said depot owners now sold the petrol at high prices at night.
“We load petrol at a very high rate at depots and as such we have to also sell at a higher price so as to make profit,” he said.
According to him, if government does not intervene quickly, the product will be sold as high as between N300 and N500 per litre in the next one to two weeks.
On the reasons most stations’ metres still read N87 per litre whereas they sell above the official price, the source said the concealment was for fear of being sanctioned by the authorities.