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Thursday, March 6, 2014

HOT PHOTO: Fuel Scarcity In Akure

The scarcity of Fuel in Ondo State, especially Akure the state capital, is now giving consumers, vehicles owners and motorists, nightmares, and headaches. They are now subjected to long lines to get the oil products they need, and at all cost.
An investigation carried out by a SaharaReporters crew in the state capital found that the scarcity is making life unbearable, and difficult for fuel consumers in the city.
Many now have to line up for hours at filling across the city. Whereas before, consumers could be attended to and get the products easily, and at will. In recent days consumers, and those that sell petroleum products are going to unusual lengths, and taking surprising and illegal steps to gain access to petroleum. For some they are acts observers believe to be dangerous for the economy, for the state, and the country as a whole.
The scarcity of the product is now bringing back memories of the recent past. This is when Nigerians had to struggle at filling stations, and waiting for several hours before they could get fuel into their vehicles. It became the norm.
Some years back Nigerians took to the streets over the scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country, forcing motorists across Nigeria to get the product through the ‘black Market’.
Some filing stations visited by our crew had their gates under lock and keys, while the few shops that were open witnessed long waiting lines of drivers sitting inside vehicles, and even angry motorcyclists.
The situation has become hectic, and is now making filling station attendants, mostly in Akure, now reluctant of selling fuel to consumers, even when petroleum is available.
A source revealed that at one filing station in the city, the attendant felt reluctant of selling fuel during the day period. He was waiting for nightfall, and in doing so, he is waiting for the dark in order to sell his product on the Black market. It is a means for him of selling petrol in huge amounts, and in turn, to also make money in huge amounts. The amount earned ranges from $200 to $250 per liter.
Few of the normal working attendants still working at pumping stations in the city, now sell gasoline at the rate of $120 Per Liter, to $130 per liter. This depends on the popularity of the filling station to the public. It also depends on the gauge and the size of its pumping machines. The bigger the machines, the faster the simple process of pumping gas to the public.
The exception to this rule, is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Station, located along Ilesa-Ibadan express way in Akure, which sells at the normal bump price of $97 per litre.
But, Saharareporters can authoritatively say from our investigations that NNPC is now experiencing a surprising number of long queues, and as a result, this is forcing consumers to stay inside their cars facing the scorching sun this season.
The situation has caused tension between inner-city commercial drivers, such as taxi drivers, and consumers, who use motorcycle taxis, into a tense alliance. The rise in waiting at the petrol station has also increased costs, and with the price hikes, drivers are forced to increase their transportation fares. By extension this is forcing some commuters to trek miles, in many instances, to their destination, rather than pay out a higher fare.
Some independent marketers who spoke to our correspondent revealed that the scarcity of fuel in the state was as a result of a shortage in supply of the product from the Ore Depot.
When contacted, the Chairman of Ondo State Petroleum Monitoring Committee (OSPMC), Alhaji Jimoh Belllo, said the scarcity was as a result of pipeline challenges, emanating from Ijegun Depot, in Lagos State.
Many Motorists and Consumers at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Mega Station located along Ilesa-Ibadan expressway, in Akure, said they have subjected themselves to the rise of long queues at the filling station because of the bump and rise in price to $97 per liters at most petrol station across the city.