Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Petrol stations operating in Ekiti State are now under lock and key as petrol marketers in most of the stations have withdrawn their services to the people.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega station located at Iworoko road, Ado Ekiti, and few other stations were selling the product while others have abstained without cogent reason, which some people described as attempt to hoard and create artificial scarcity
The situation is so horrible in the state capital and other towns across the state, with transport fare suddenly gone up because of the turn of event .
As a result of this, motorists now queued for several hours in the petrol stations before getting the product.
In actual fact, there were few taxis and motorcycles on the roads to convey pedestrians to their destinations, which caused large number of people massing at different junctions and motor parks in the state capital.
The development has also resulted in sudden hike in the transport fare being charged by both commercial vehicle drivers and motorcyclists.
In Ado Ekiti, the Ijigbo to Ajilosun area that was hitherto N50 per drop has increased to N70 and other routes as well.
The inter-city transport fare has also increased as Ado–Iyin that was N100 has suddenly been hiked to between N150 and N180.
Similar situation was witnessed in May this year when the Independent
Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had declared artificial scarcity due to alleged victimisation by the state government.
They accused the government of demolishing some petrol stations built in residential areas, even without prior notice.
One of the motorists, who queued at the Phenrose petrol station yesterday, said: “I have been here for four hours without getting fuel to buy, this is rather frustrating.
“The federal government must look into this matter and bring the situation to normal because this could be frustrating.
“Within 24 hours that we started witnessing this situation, many businesses have collapsed and this is not going to be in the interest of our already fragile economy.”
A top member of IPMAN in Ekiti, who however craved anonymity, blamed the NNPC for the current unbearable situation.
“Before, the NNPC’s landing cost per litre at the depot was N133.5 and the controlled price as instructed by the federal government is N145.
“It was out of the N11.50 that we get our profit, pay for other overhead costs. But the NNPC suddenly increased the landing cost and our people refused to lift petrol for the depot, that I think brought about the current situation,” he said.