By Saheed Ibrahim,
& Taiwo Asaba
As Nigerians continue to battle scarcity of premium motor spirit (petrol), business owners and residents of Ondo state have begun to count their losses as many of them go through difficult times while trying to cope with the hardship created by the scarcity and the exorbitant amount charged by some stations.
The Hope investigation revealed that some stations hoard the product and sell as much as N200 to N400 per little, suggesting the scarcity of PMS is artificial while the few selling at N165 were jam-packed with vehicles, motorbikes and jerricans.
An Okada rider, Mr Samuel Bamikole told The Hope that as early as 6am he started to queue for fuel but was able to get at noon.
According to him, his daily income has reduced by 80% as he was able to get little fuel after six hours of queuing.
Similarly, taxi drivers, Mr Sunday Oyeniyi and Adetoro Yahaya lamented they had to buy petrol for as high as N300 per litre.
“I spent almost six hours at the filling station yesterday just to get 10 litres. Although, there was no increase in the price unlike other states but our situation here is that sellers intentionally hoard the fuel so that transporters will have no choice than to buy it at tblack market prices”.
Speaking with The Hope, a motorist identified as Bodunde said “I have been on the queue since 4a.m and this is 10a.m now the station has refused to sell even though they have it in their tank. As you can see the queue, nobody is ready to leave this place because most of the vehicles are on empty tanks.
“We don’t know what has caused this sudden fuel scarcity. When we have sailed through the conventional December scarcity, we thought a new dawn has come without knowing it was postponed, he said.
While narrating his ordeal, a commuter Okhotor Vicent at the busy Oba Adesida road said that he had to trek from Olukayode to NEPA just because I could not pay N100 for that short distance.
“When the taxi drivers were insisting on the same price, I had no choice than to use my legs. As you can see, I am not alone. We pray the government attend to the issue on time.”
A social worker and activist, Mr. Akinrimisi Ola said “it is so sad that the current fuel scarcity is coming at a time the masses are wallowing in abject poverty. In Ondo city, some filling stations were under padlock. Few that attend to motorists charged exorbitant prices ranging from #200 – #400 per litre.
Also lamenting, a civil servant, Mr. Yemi Ojo told The Hope he had to trek long distance to work because of hike in fares.