Motorists and commuters in Lagos and Ogun states on Tuesday again, lamented the biting consequences of the lingering fuel scarcity as the situation remained unchanged from the trends experienced over the past two weeks.
Checks by our correspondents showed that the price of Premium Motor Spirit, commonly referred to as petrol, seemed to have stalled at N200/litre, about the same price the product has been selling in Lagos, Abuja and some states over the past week.
It was also observed that a number of filling stations in Lagos remained closed for business, ostensibly due to the unavailability of the product.
Also, the few outlets dispensing the product in the cities had long queues as motorists jostled to buy the product.
Further checks by media source also showed that transport fares across various parts of Lagos maintained a 50 per cent hike due to the continued scarcity of PMS. Some routes witnessed hikes as high as 100 per cent.
A commercial transport operator who plies the Berger/Mowe route between Lagos and Ogun states said motorists were grappling with not only a significant increase in fuel price, but also great difficulty in accessing the product.
He said, “It’s because of the price which we are buying. For more than a week, we’ve been buying fuel for N200/litre or almost N200/litre. Apart from the increase in price, we often suffer before we can buy. Many filling stations have closed for business. They refuse to sell even though we know some of them to have fuel. Every day, I spend hours before buying fuel.“
Passengers think we enjoy increasing our fares, but if we don’t increase, we won’t make any profit. Even with the increase, we are still not making what we make on a normal day, especially because of the time it takes to buy fuel.”
A passenger who identified herself as Ganiyat said the increase in the fares along the Berger/Ibafo axis was beginning to take a toll on the commuters.
According to her, the fuel scarcity had led to a scarcity of commercial buses, a situation which conventionally forces transport fares to go up.
She said, “It is getting out of hand. I go from Ibafo to Lagos and back every day. Normally, I pay N200 from Berger to Ibafo, but ever since this fuel scarcity started, you have to make sure you come out with enough money because you don’t even know how much they are going to charge. Today, they are charging N500. On Saturday I paid N800 for a trip I normally pay N200.”
Mr Cyril Ukpor, who resides at Iyana Ejigbo area of Lagos State, however said he bought fuel at N165/litre at one of the outlets of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the area.
Also, a resident who gave her name as Blessing said she bought the product at N200/litre.
“I have been buying fuel for N200/litre. To me it is not really about the price, it is about the availability of the product. Let the product be readily available for us to buy. We know that whenever we start seeing long queues like this, it is an indication that they want to increase the pump price”