More danger looms with the prospect of fire outbreaks as commercial drivers are now travelling with kegs of petrol in their vehicles to beat fuel scarcity and avoid being stranded, The Hope investigations have revealed.
It was also gathered that many people also store petrol in their homes, shops and markets which has caused several fire outbreaks in the recent time.
Investigations revealed that the recently burnt hospital in Okitipupa and auto crash in Ore where many victims were burnt beyond recognition occurred due to storage of fuel.
The Hope also observed that the scarcity of the product has led some people venturing into black market business, storing the product in large quantity at homes and shops to sell between N320 toN450.
Many motorists, who got the product at the N185 normal price are also storing it in their homes for future use.
Along the major roads, commercial motorcycle riders are usually seen with jerricans to buy extra fuel and sell at exorbitant price to desperate motorists.
Our investigation further showed that commercial drivers travelling long distance are most guilty of carrying fuel in vehicles.
Commercial drivers plying Lagos where they easily buy the product do keep minimum of 50 litres keg of petrol inside their buses whenever they are traveling outside Lagos.
A driver simply identified as Sunday confirmed to The Hope that he usually put 25 litres of petrol in his 18- seater bus anytime he is coming to Akure to avoid being stranded.
“You know that to buy fuel easily in Akure costs minimum of N450 per litre but in Lagos, it is easy for me to buy at a minimum of N200 per litre. So, any time I am coming from Lagos, I must keep minimum of 25 litres of petrol in my bus,” he disclosed.
When asked about the danger of fire disaster as a result of keeping fuel in the bus, he said his life is in God’s hand.
While it is difficult to buy fuel at the filling stations, those selling through Jerrycans at the road side are making brisk sales.
A road side petroleum dealer in Adebowale area in Ondo who spoke with The Hope on condition of anonymity said he doesn’t care what happens since he is making his money.
He said his business is a chain one in partnership with some petroleum marketers.
“It is easy for me to get fuel to sell in my interior since many ogas are involved’
Given the dangerous development, the Federal Fire Service, Ondo State Command has warned residents to desist from storing petrol at homes or in their vehicles due to its high volatility.
Speaking with The Hope, The Public Relations Officer of the Command, ASF 1 Oshin Victor Abayomi said Nigerians should not because of the hardship brought by scarcity further endanger their lives by storing petrol at home, shops and vehicles.
“Because of the pain people pass through in getting fuel, they tend to buy in large quantity and store at home so as to avoid another pain.
The truth is storing fuel at home comes with high risks. Not just to the person who store the fuel at home but to other people who are neighbours or adjoining property.
He pleaded that residents should avoid storing petrol at home given the dangers it comes with, saying, this period shall pass.
The truth is when the problems come, you won’t remember pain. Somebody who is totally burnt by fire will not remember the pain of getting fuel.
“Let us safeguard our lives and that of our family members and neighbours. Let us stop piling fuel at home, he charged.
While stressing that most fire outbreaks are caused by carelessness, Oshin said that fire disaster does not write letter to anyone that it would occur.
Addressing black marketers, he said the profit they desire may be thwarted by fire outbreaks due to careless stockpiling of fuel.
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